Signed from Rayo Vallecano de Madrid for a relatively modest £2m (€2.5m) in the summer, forward Michu is already the bargain of the season in England with 12 goals in 16 Premier League games for Swansea City AFC.
Rumour is that the 26-year-old Spaniard will be moving on again when the winter transfer window opens, but Swans manager Michael Laudrup feels he is worth more than any English side can afford – no small achievement given Michu was judged effectively worthless two summers ago, when leaving RC Celta de Vigo on a free transfer for Rayo.
Despite his 15 Liga goals in 2011/12, the Madrid-based outfit were delighted to accept Swansea's offer for the attacker in July. "Rayo have no money, so £2m is like: 'Wow!'" Michu said earlier this term. "I went on a free to Rayo and I can tell you that £2m is very good for them. I think my price at the top is only £4m."
That ceiling price looks like chicken feed now, with the stylish, rangy Michu proving to be absolutely perfect for the cut and thrust of the Premier League. He netted twice in his first English game – Swansea's 5-0 win at Queens Park Rangers FC on the opening day of the campaign – and has hit some kind of critical scoring mass in recent weeks. His five goals in three top-flight matches include both strikes in Swansea's shock 2-0 victory at Arsenal FC on 1 December.
"There's a lot more space between the lines [than in Spain]," he explained. "In Spain there's a greater tactical dimension to the game and it's harder to play in the No10 role. I have faith in my first touch – that's essential here because you have such little time in the area and that gives you a great advantage."
Fearing he would never make it when beginning his career with local club Real Oviedo, Michu completed the first year of a university degree – and remains determined to learn. "This is an incredible experience," he continued. "Apart from playing football and enjoying myself here, I will return home speaking a very important language."
If those sound like the words of a man not taking his celebrity status too seriously, then consider these claims in one of his first interviews in Britain. "I want to go to Loch Ness," Michu joked. "I want to see if I can find the monster." Given the magic touch that Swansea's No9 has shown since landing in south Wales, Nessie's days of obscurity may be numbered.
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