Michu's Spain Call Deserved Reward for Taking Swansea to Next Level
With David Villa forced to pull out of Vicente del Bosque's squad due to injury, Roberto Soldado not involved and Diego Costa not featuring (yet?), Michu joins Alvaro Negredo and Cesc Fabregas in the forward corps.
Premier League exposure, consistent goalscoring over the last three years and a Capital One Cup win have had fans worldwide calling for his inclusion, and after hinting Michu could be involved in an earlier friendly against Uruguay, del Bosque has finally picked up the phone.
"About time" was the reaction of anyone who has seen him on the pitch in a Swansea shirt over the past 14 months, but the truth is Michu has been impressing for nearly two and a half seasons in a variety of different roles and positions.
At Rayo Vallecano he was once a central midfielder—not a No. 10, but a flat CM—and it was Jose Ramon Sandoval who moved him into a more attacking position. Michu responded with 17 goals in all competitions, 15 of which came in the league.
The fact that he only cost £2 million...well, you've heard the phrase "bargain" uttered with proximity to this man's name on far too many occasions now.
Spanish football aficionados knew Michael Laudrup had landed an incredible deal before he even kicked a Premier League ball, and his two-goal debut at Loftus Road only increased the hype surrounding the Swans' new grinning hit man.
Playing off Danny Graham and between a Wayne Routledge/Nathan Dyer wing combo, the Real Oviedo youth product was afforded time and space to pick his passes and arrive late for killer goals.
When Graham departed in the January transfer window to Sunderland, Michu completed his full-time transition from flat central midfielder to striker, target man and prime goal-getter.
He shouldered the responsibility of being the primary scoring threat, but always performed better off the front man, and with a big target occupying the centre-backs; the capture of Wilfried Bony this summer for £11 million was as much a statement of intent as it was a commitment to get Michu back in his best role.
He's the lifeblood of Swansea City, and he's taken the South Wales side to new levels—beyond that of which Brendan Rodgers left them. The club have retained the passing philosophy instilled by Paulo Sousa, Roberto Martinez and Rodgers, then added a lethal, cutting element which Michu embodies.
There is much to be admired regarding the Swans' rise, and there are countless contributions all over the field, but Michu typifies both the finesse and the fight of Laudrup's charges.
With Spain's struggles up front this call should have come sooner, but at the very least will have cheered the man from Oviedo up on the long bus journey home from St. Mary's Stadium on Sunday.
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