Michu's fall from £30 million international to Spanish fourth division

Norwich City v Swansea City - Premier League

Just three seasons ago, Michu was taking the Premier League by storm. He was brought to the Premier League on the back of finishing as the top goal scoring midfielder in La Liga. Swansea City had paid just £2.2 million for the Spaniard and he was making the price tag easily look like the best buy of the season.

But just two years later, Michu seemed to disappear off the face of the footballing world. So what happened to the man that Sir Alex Ferguson had "never even heard of" before joining Swansea.

Michu was signed by Swansea City, from La Liga outfit Rayo Vallecano, for a measly fee. He arrived in South Wales for the beginning of the 2012/2013 season and marked his league debut away at QPR, scoring twice in a 5-0 victory. This impressive performance was followed up by another goal against West Ham, putting him top of the goal scoring charts at the end of August.


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Goals against Manchester United and two late strikes at Arsenal to win the game followed, and resulted in heavy praise by the Manchester United boss.

He also proved lethal in the Cup competitions, scoring away at Stamford Bridge in the League Cup semi-final. He was equally instrumental in Swansea's first major cup final, scoring and assisting in their 5-0 victory over Bradford City. He finished his debut season strongly, ending on 22 goals. He was named alongside stars such as Gareth Bale, Luis Suarez and David Silva and given a valuation of £30 million by Swansea.

An injury-hit second season meant the Spaniard was sidelined for the majority of the campaign. When he was available he was unable to have the same effect as the previous season.

Perhaps this was because teams were aware of the danger he possessed? Or the ankle injury had taken its toll? It began to increasingly look like Michu was to become a victim of his own success. The sacking of Michael Laudrup sparked rumours of friction with new boss Garry Monk, and he failed to make any significant impact during his second season.

The following campaign he was sent out on loan to Italian side Napoli, to try and reinvigorate his career. However, again plagued by injury he was limited to just six appearances for the Naples side. He returned to Swansea a forgotten man to the rest of the Premier League as he underwent his rehabilitation. And after a rumour-filled nine months, Michu and Swansea reached a mutual agreement to release him from his contract. A mighty fall from grace, and he immediately joined Spanish fourth division side, UP Langreo.

Cardiff City v Swansea City - Premier League

His reasons for joining the amateur club included it providing him the perfect location to continue his redevelopment to get back to the top level while his brother is also the manager of the side.

Back in February, he told the BBC "of his love for Swansea and his desire to one day return to the club". He felt that he could not deliver the performances the Swansea fans deserved.

It is a far cry from the player who lined up alongside Iniesta, Xavi, Fabregas and David Silva on his first and only appearance for the Spanish national side. He now lines up alongside part-time players on pitches that seem a million miles away from the glamorous arenas of Old Trafford and the Emirates.

So have we seen the last of the man who, at one time, seemed unstoppable in the world's best league? Only time will tell, but after such a harrowing journey Michu should just be enjoying his football and whatever the future holds, he gave Swansea City fans some of their greatest memories of recent times.

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