Danny Graham is hailed by Michael Laudrup following late leveller in Swansea City's FA Cup tie with Arsenal
MICHAEL Laudrup has saluted Danny Graham after the striker continued his scoring streak with a late leveller in Swansea City's FA Cup draw with Arsenal yesterday.
Laudrup has hinted that Graham will be allowed to leave Swansea during the January transfer window having struggled for game-time this season.
And the £3.5 million frontman admitted last week that he wanted regular football and talked about the possibility of making the last big move of his career.
Yet Swansea will find it hard to say goodbye to Graham if he maintains his current form.
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The 27-year-old has started Swansea's last three matches — and scored in all of them.
"In the last couple of games, Danny has looked like the player we saw during pre-season and at the start of the season," said Laudrup, who tipped Graham to score 20 goals this term back in August.
"I thought after two goals that Danny could keep the momentum going against Arsenal and he did that.
"He had a great shot in the first half and he scored another goal at the end, but it is not just about the goals.
"Goals give strikers confidence, but Danny showed great spirit, great fight and he worked hard. He looks very confident on the pitch and we hope that can continue."
Graham has reportedly attracted firm interest from Norwich and Reading, while Sunderland were linked with the former Watford man once again over the weekend.
But Laudrup, who has pledged to hold talks with all of his non-regulars about their futures this month, insisted again yesterday that there have been no bids for Graham.
"I am not going to comment on what I have talked about with the players who have not played as much as they would like," he added.
"Danny is playing well right now. He is scoring goals and he is important for us.
"Because I am talking to players, it does not mean I am saying they can leave. That's just the way I am — I speak to the players who are obviously not satisfied because they are not playing."
Michu was left out of Swansea's starting side yesterday after complaining of a tight hamstring, but the Spaniard came off the bench to put the hosts in front.
Arsenal looked to be heading through to the fourth round after scoring twice in three minutes, through Lukas Podolski and Kieran Gibbs, only for Graham to set up a replay late on.
Laudrup is confident Michu will be fully fit for Wednesday's Capital One Cup semi-final first leg at Chelsea even though he was "not 100 per cent" yesterday.
"Overall I thought the draw was fair," Laudrup said. "We showed great character once again to come back at the end.
"Arsenal will be the favourites in the replay, but we have kept our positive momentum going and I think that gives a lot to the team."
Swansea will now do it all again against Arsenal on Wednesday, January 16 at the Emirates, with the winners facing a trip to Championship side Brighton in the fourth round.
Full draw: Norwich v Luton, Oldham v Mansfield or Liverpool, Macclesfield v Wigan or Bournemouth, Derby v Blackburn, Hull or Leyton Orient v Barnsley, Middlesbrough v Aldershot, Millwall v Aston Villa, Leeds or Birmingham v Tottenham, Brighton v Swansea or Arsenal, Crystal Palace or Stoke v Manchester City, West Ham or Manchester United v Fulham or Blackpool, Southend or Brentford v Chelsea, Reading v Sheffield United, Huddersfield v Leicester, QPR or West Brom v Sheffield Wednesday or MK Dons, Bolton or Sunderland v Cheltenham or Everton.
Ties to be played on the weekend of January 26-27.