REVEALED: The SIX Premier League clubs (and Leeds United) who snubbed Michu before Swansea swooped for 2.2m bargain
22:10 GMT, 31 December 2012
If Roberto Mancini is having
sleepless nights over missing out on Robin van Persie, then one can only
imagine the mood at Tottenham's training ground every time Michu scores
at Hotspur Way, something of a dark comedy routine has been going on
this season between Pat Jennings and Tim Sherwood, an exchange that
usually ends with one telling the other: 'Don't mention Michu'. He's the
one that got away. Twice.
And once he was going for free. But Tottenham are not alone. Sportsmail understands
that Fulham, Stoke, West Brom, West Ham and Aston Villa were also told
by an independent agent in Spain about the 26-year-old in the summer and
encouraged to bid for a man who had just scored 15 goals in La Liga.
Summer steal: Michu has been a sensation since joining Swansea from Rayo Vallecano for just 2.2m
Who needs Michu
Michu has taken the Premier League by storm since joining Swansea in the summer. Here's how his goal tally compares with the leading scorers at the clubs he snubbed…
Premier League goals 2012-13 (as of Dec 31)
Michu – 13
Spurs – Jermain Defoe – 10
Aston Villa – Christian Benteke – 5
West Ham – Kevin Nolan – 5
Stoke – Jonathan Walters – 5
Fulham – Dimitar Berbatov – 6
West Brom – Romelu Lukaku – 6
And one in the Championship…
Leeds United – Luciano Becchio – 14
The fact that those goals came for
Rayo Vallecano, a struggling team that frequently couldn't afford to pay
their players, wasn't enough to coax an offer.
fact that most of the goals had come from midfield, and his release
clause was a relative snip at 3.2million, was seemingly also ignored.
Tottenham's case, the shame is a little deeper. Spurs were first
notified about Michu in the summer of 2011, when his contract at Celta
Vigo, who were then in the Spanish second tier, expired. It meant that
he was available on a free transfer.
the time, Michu was largely playing a deeper, more defensive role and
Tottenham snubbed the recommendat ion of Gerry Armstrong, a former Spurs
player-turned-Spanish football expert, to make a bid.
then, it was obvious this guy was a different class,' Armstrong said.
'He played a bit further back, but he was so comfortable on the ball.
Before he was famous: Michu in action against Real Madrid in September 2011 (when he was still up for grabs), but Andre Villas-Boas, Paul Lambert and Sam Allardyce (below, left-right) all passed up the chance to sign him
had brilliant vision, could win headers, could pass, could shoot. There
didn't seem to be anything missing.' It wasn't just a Premier League
thing. Leeds, along with the six top-flight clubs, were contacted by a
Spanish agent in the summer and, like the rest, did not act on the
recommendation. Swansea stumped up 2.2m.
'He was offered, I think, to a lot of clubs in the summer,' Michael Laudrup told Sportsmail back in August.
'I think he will be a very good player here. I have a feeling that he will.
is a lot of value in the Spanish market right now. There is not a lot
of money and you can get some very good deals. I think this is a good
That conversation took place in the
week before Swansea opened their season against QPR – Michu's debut. He
scored twice in a 5-0 win. Then he scored again in their second game, a
3-0 win over West Ham.
'He can score goals, but I think he can do more,' Laudrup said in the summer.
he passes well, beats players, can poach and has a pile-driver in
either foot. In keeping with Swansea's modus operandi, he is comfortable
taking possession in small spaces, but he's also 6ft 1in and is superb
in the air, making him a target for long balls and crosses.
spoke of adding a Plan B and a greater goal threat in pre-season and
Michu has given him both. His Premier League tally stands at 13, one
short of Van Persie, who cost current leaders Manchester United 24m.
Paying attention: Spain's coach Vicente del Bosque says he will hand Michu his first international cap
A week ago, Vicente del Bosque, the
Spain manager, took the unusual step of promising Michu his first
international cap, almost two months before of the world and European
champions' February 6 friendly with Uruguay in Doha.
Bosque spoke out the night before Michu scored his 13th league goal of
the season in a 1-1 draw with Manchester United on December 23.
couple of days earlier, Sir Alex Ferguson had told his club's website
that he had not heard of the Spaniard prior to this season.
added that he would be having words with his scouting department.
Fergie won't be the only Premier League manager doing that. Or
Championship boss, for that matter.
Leading the way: Robin van Persie has scored the most goals in the Premier League this season
VIDEO: Here's what all the fuss is about…