Swansea City boss Michael Laudrup salutes star man Michu
MICHAEL Laudrup described Michu as his Swansea City talisman after the Spanish star inspired victory at Crystal Palace yesterday.
Michu scored the fastest Premier League goal of the season and then had a hand in Nathan Dyer's second-half strike as Swansea chalked up perhaps their most comfortable victory since they reached the top flight.
Michu now has 20 goals in 40 league appearances since joining Swansea for just £2.2 million in the summer of 2012.
And Laudrup admits the 27-year-old is a key figure in the Swansea dressing room.
"Michu is a very, very important player for us," said the Swansea boss.
"He scores goals, but I do not expect him to do that because he is not a goalscorer.
"If he does not score for three games, I will not worry about it because he is an attacking midfielder.
"He works hard for the team. He runs to close down the opposition goalkeeper and you're thinking 'Why is he wasting his energy?', but he does that to lead the whole team."
Michu has been in spectacular form in the early weeks of the new season, and is arguably playing better now than at any previous stage in his Swansea career.
He scored 22 goals last term but, with five in nine appearances this term, he is on course to surpass the remarkable feats of 2012-13.
And Laudrup insisted he never feared Michu might move on over the summer — because the former Rayo Vallecano man is committed to the Swansea cause. "The most important thing is what the player wants, and Michu always wanted to stay," he added.
"He wanted to be part of the second season at Swansea and to play in Europe. What will happen in the future I don't know, but what is important is always what the player wants."
Michu was the star performer as Swansea cruised home at Selhurst Park.
Laudrup's men outclassed Palace to round off a fine week which had already featured a draw with Liverpool as well as the memorable Europa League triumph in Valencia.
"It has been a fantastic week for us," Laudrup added.
"We made five changes, but the players from last season know one another and the players we have brought in came here because we knew they would fit in.
"We didn't just pick them out of a box. We knew they could adapt to the way we play, so we have the possibility to change five players in every game if we want to."
Swansea are up into mid-table after stretching their unbeaten run to four games. They had the luxury of leaving Wilfried Bony on the bench throughout yesterday, while Pablo Hernandez and Neil Taylor remain on the injured list.
Laudrup is tipped to make a host of chances once again when Swansea begin their defence of the Capital One Cup at Birmingham on Wednesday.