What should Swansea enigma Michu do next?
Whatever happened to Michu? This should be the question on many a Swansea City fan’s lips, after a season where they made club history under captain-turned-manager Garry Monk.
Despite losing star striker Wilfried Bony in the winter window, muddling on with Bafetimbi Gomis as their only credible option up top, the Welsh team (11/8 with Coral for a top 10 finish) still remarkably achieved an eighth-place Premier League finish, though Michu’s versatility would have been most welcome and could, in theory, have spurred them on to even greater heights.
Instead of enjoying a successful campaign at the Liberty Stadium, however, the Spanish star, who can operate in numerous attacking positions, spent the term on loan with Serie A side Napoli, mostly on the treatment table.
Michu’s bargain signing, for £2m from Rayo Vallecano back in 2012, was once looked upon as a superb deal for the Swans, but now they are reportedly struggling to offload their out-of-favour forward for even £4m after his dream start to Swansea life seemed to turn sour.
Injury-prone and now 29, Michu, who struck 22 across all competitions for the Welsh club in their Capital One Cup-winning campaign in 2012, made just six outings for Napoli last term, so may be a hard sell, but his talent is evident.
The Spain cap is far from a one-season wonder, despite being a late bloomer, having also starred for the lesser known Madrid club with a 15 goal haul before switching to the Swans (16/1 for a top six finish).
It would surely be a waste to dispose with his services if fences can be mended following rumours of a rift with the club, though when asked on the forward’s future, Monk stated: “It’s unlikely Michu’s opinion has changed suddenly but until I hear from him I don’t know what he wants to do this time around.”
Monk needs to invest in striking depth, but would have a ready made replacement available in the once potent and inspirational Michu, with the Liberty Stadium squad seemingly open to a return. Skipper Ashley Williams recently even told press: “He is a friend of mine. He is such a good player and popular within the squad and we would be buzzing if he did come back.
Should Michu or the club be keen to move on, however, where could the adaptable attacking talent find a new home?
The Foxes’ forwards struggled towards the end of the season, and misfiring foreign frontmen Leonardo Ulloa and Andrej Kramaric could use some competition, though with other holes in the squad to fill, a cheap option such as Michu may prove prudent.
Steve McClaren’s Magpies are rumoured to be recruiting in attacking positions, and with much work needed on the roster Michu would represent a calculated risk, and could link-up well with young and promising compatriot Ayoze Perez.
Mark Hughes has given the Potters a face-lift since his arrival, and is always on the lookout for value signings he can add to provide famously staunch Stoke with further silk, meaning Michu could fit the bill.
With England and Italy failing to work out, the Spanish sharpshooter could always return to his homeland for another crack at La Liga. The Yellow Submarine could well take a punt on the out-of-form predator as, having lost Real Madrid-owned wingman Denis Cheryshev and top striker Luciano Vietto, there is certainly space.
West Ham United
The Hammers, under new management, are the latest to be linked to the once highly-rated hitman, as Slaven Bilic looks to reshape the squad. Michu would be worth taking a chance on for West Ham, where the Iberian attacker could become a cult hero once again, as they look to give their reputation for dour and direct football a makeover.
What is all the fuss about? Take a peek at Michu’s talents here: