Swansea attacker Michu has been called-up to the Spain squad for the first time. The Swans star will be in Los Rojas squad for the World Cup qualifiers double header against Belarus and Georgia.
The call-up is recognition of the superb form that the 27-year-old has produced in the last year or so for the side from south Wales.
Michu has scored 27 goals for the Swans in all competitions since his arrival in the summer of 2012 and has been outstanding playing as a striker or an attacking midfielder.
Michu will replace Atletico Madrid striker David Villa in the Spain squad, after Spain’s record goalscorer picked up an injury during Atleti’s La Liga game against Celta Vigo on Sunday.
Michu was one of the stars of last season’s Premier League campaign. He made an absolute mockery of his £2million price tag by being one of the most consistent performers in the English top-flight. The former-Rayo Vallecano forward went from zero to hero in a very short-time.
To a lot of Premier League fans Michu was an unknown quantity. However, regular watchers of La Liga would have seen Michu score 15 goals from midfield for Rayo the previous season and help them survive in the Spanish top-flight.
When I wrote my pre-season predictions for last season I actually suggested that he could be the bargain of the summer. My article seemed to fall on deaf ears though, as most Premier League fans said ‘Mich-who?’
They are certainly not saying that now as he is regarded as one of the most dangerous forward players in the top-flight.
The fact that Michu can play as a midfielder or a forward is a big bonus for Spain. The world champions have experimented with teams without a striker, but Michu would be a very good option for Spanish boss Vicente del Bosque, as he offers the versatility to play in dual roles.
His football intelligent allows him to take up good positions and his clever movement creates space for his teammates. He is not scared of a bit of work either, despite looking ungainly at times.
Michu has been a relative late developer in terms of top-flight footballers. It took him until he was 25 before he really made an impact in his homeland. The move to England has helped raise his profile both at home and abroad.
His record in the previous years of his career was very underwhelming. He only made his La Liga debut in 2011 with Rayo, so it was fair to say that his career has been a slow-burner. Prior to his arrival at Swansea he had only scored 52 goals in over 250 games in the Spanish leagues, mostly in the lower leagues, not exactly the record of a prolific marksman.
Compared to his debut season in the English game Michu has enjoyed a slow start to the campaign. However, his form does seem to be improving and no doubt there is more to come from the former-Rayo star this season.
He played a key role in Swansea winning their first ever silverware in English football last season, as the Swans won the Capital One Cup. If he plays well Swansea play well, but the Welsh side were handed a difficult start to their campaign and they are still searching for a bit of consistency.
Spain are still arguably the best team in international football. They are current world and champions and Michu must be over the moon at being called-up to his national team squad. The Spanish squad is full of world-class players, who have won every trophy in the game.
If he gets a chance in the forthcoming fixtures then he needs to make an impression. Who knows if he does make a good enough impression he may just put himself in the long-term plans of Spanish boss Vicente Del Bosque.
Michu is proof that hard work and dedication pays off in the end. I am sure if the Swansea player makes it onto the plane for next year’s World Cup in Brazil, there will be no happier man to be at the competition than the likeable forward.
Could Michu make the Spain World Cup squad?