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Premier League Cult Icons: Michu

The childhood hero of Erling Haaland, Michu will be remembered as one of the Premier League's greatest one-season wonders.

Signed for £2m from Rayo Vallecano in 2012, Michu was instrumental in Swansea City's League Cup triumph and their 9th-placed finish in the Premier League.

Michu In Profile

Place of BirthOviedo, Spain
Premier League club(s)Swansea City
Premier League appearances52
Premier League goals20
Premier League assists5
International caps1
Other notable clubsCelta Vigo, Rayo Vallecano, Napoli

Journey into football

Hailing from the northern Spanish city of Oviedo, Miguel Pérez Cuesta, also known as Michu, was on the books at Real Oviedo from the age of eight before signing his first professional contract with the club at 17.

Making the transition from Oviedo's B team, Michu would go on to make 99 appearances for his hometown club before a free transfer to Rayo Vallecano in 2011.

He would spend one season at the Vallecas, scoring 15 goals in La Liga before receiving his big break in the Premier League with Swansea.

Style of play

Oozing finesse and flamboyance, Michu was the spearhead of Michael Laudrup's attack, unleashed in an unrestricted role which gave him licence to initiate attacks and punish teams.

His ability to hold-up the ball and link up intricately with team-mates was a delight to observe but it was his goalscoring capabilities that earned the plaudits during his time at the Liberty Stadium.

Whether it was an emphatic strike from distance or a delightful glancing header, the marksman displayed a range of finishes as he notched in 22 goals during his first season with the Swans.

Best Premier League moment

You can take your pick from Michu's phenomenal 2012/13 campaign.

A brace in a 5-0 victory over QPR capped off an immense Swans debut and the forward would score twice against Manchester United in a season where they were crowned champions.

But the greatest moment of them all came on a famous night in Swansea history at the Emirates Stadium.

With the game level after 88 minutes, Michu breached the Arsenal defence and exhibited ultimate composure to slot past the on-rushing Wojciech Szczęsny.

Two minutes later he benefited from Nathan Dyer's persistence to race through on goal again, calling Szczęsny's bluff and squeezing his effort in at the near post.

The sight of him cupping his ear before the delirious travelling support was one to behold.

Swansea City legacy

Michu's time in South Wales was short but incredibly sweet.

In spite of his Swans stint ending on a sour note with career-hampering injuries, the Spaniard will go down one of the greatest signings made by Swansea City and one of the most influential players in their successful years.

His presence was pivotal in the club securing their first major English trophy, an achievement that was rewarded with Swansea competing in Europe for the first time in 21 years.

It's important to remember Michu had started the 2013/14 season relatively well, scoring five goals in his first 10 appearances in all competitions.

But a plethora of injury issues meant Michu was unable to sustain his goalscoring heroics, cementing his status as one of the Premier League's greatest one-season wonders.

Biggest career achievement

Michu's sole winners medal came during his time at Swansea as they lifted the League Cup in 2013.

Laudrup's side defeated Liverpool and Chelsea on their way to the final before comprehensively beating Bradford City at Wembley.

For both Michu and Swansea it was the culmination of years of hard work and persistence, a journey from the lower leagues to a major trophy.

And after scoring 22 goals in the 2012/13 campaign, you will not be surprised to know that Michu was named Swansea's Player of the Season that term.

Did you know?

Who could forget Michu's goal celebration?

The forward would reel away after finding the back of the net and twist his hand over his ear. The story of Michu's trademark move originates from his time in Spain.

The striker missed a penalty against Granada whilst playing for Celta Vigo, with Granada subsequently winning promotion from the Segunda Division in that season.

Michu joined La Liga outfit Rayo Vallecano months after and when he met Granada again, he was heckled by visiting supporters for his penalty miss.

In true Michu fashion, he responded by scoring the only goal of the game and proceeded to celebrate in front of the Granada fans in the process, cupping his hand to his ear.

It was a celebration that stuck, one that Michu said 'reminded him of his journey' and it's an iconic move that Haaland has since replicated in the Premier League.

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