The curious decline of Swansea’s Michu and the inevitability of being a one-cap wonder

The term one-cap wonder is a cruel moniker for those players that are only afforded one shot at international football, with plenty of famous and infamous stars handed this title over the years.

One current player that looks increasingly likely to added to this list is Swansea City striker Michu, who after being one of the finds of the 2012-13 campaign has seen his career stagnate dramatically.

Upon his arrival in Wales, the Spanish striker was adjudged as one of the most feared attackers in the Premier League after a superb debut season, which heralded 22 goals.

Michu’s versatility to play as a lone attacker or the support striker gave the Liberty Stadium outfit options, while Swansea seemed to have found a rare player possessing both stature and finesse.

Rumblings of the Spaniard moving to one of Europe’s top clubs for tens of millions of pounds were commonplace and understandable given his stellar showings for the Welsh side.

With Vicente Del Bosque starting to employ the false nine ploy in his tactics, Michu was deservedly brought into the World Cup winning Spain squad as an option.

A lone start against Belarus promised to see the Swansea star as a regular feature in La Roja’s ranks, but injury prevented him from proving himself ahead of last summer’s World Cup.

It was the 2013-14 campaign that injuries started to take their toll, with a diminished output at club level from the attacker.

The failure to string together a prolonged run of games in the first team prevented Michu from gathering momentum, while Swansea started to evolve and cope without their talisman from the campaign before.

MichuLast season it appeared that the cultured forward needed a change of scenery to reinvigorate his faltering career, with a switch to Napoli to work with compatriot Rafa Benítez providing the perfect tonic.

However, Michu has become something of a forgotten man due to an injury-plagued season in 2014-15, where he only made five showings in a disappointing tenure at Stadio San Paolo.

The current level of the striker’s fitness remains to be seen, but Garry Monk’s latest comments surrounding Michu’s future at the Liberty Stadium are slightly strange.

The Swansea supremo has stated that the Spaniard’s time at the Welsh club was coming to an end, with the Oviedo-born forward likely to be transferred this summer.

Monk claimed that his “squad has moved on” and as such the Spaniard was no longer part of his plans.

If the player is angling for a move away from the Welsh club and wants to return to Spain, selling him makes sense.

But, despite his fitness concerns, potentially having someone of Michu’s ability to call upon, even sporadically, would be a pleasant bonus for the Swans.

Monk’s men seem to have reverted from playing Michu as the furthest man forward to employing a battering ram striker to lead the line over recent years, with the impressive Wilfried Bony, Bafétimbi Gomis and new signing Éder all in this ilk.

However, despite the considerable technical ability of playmaker Gylfi Sigurðsson, having the guile Michu possesses in the club’s ranks would be another unique asset.

It appears that a La Liga return is on the cards for this injury prone talent, with a move to Spanish shores hopefully getting him back to his best.

However, avoiding inclusion in the one-cap wonder brigade unfortunately looks like an impossible task for Michu and his unique talents.

By
I am a freelance football journalist from Northern Ireland living in Broome in Western Australia. I have worked for top media outlets such as FourFourTwo, goal.com, Soccerlens, Football Fancast and Here is the City. I am a lifelong and long-suffering Tottenham fan. Follow me on Twitter at @90MinsOnline
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