Arsenal's search for a new striker is taking them to Swansea City hotshot Michu. The Daily Mail has suggested Gunners boss Arsene Wenger has had Michu regularly scouted and is readying a bid.
This an interesting, but fanciful rumor. Michu was an instant success during his debut season in the English Premier League.
He fired 22 goals and helped Swansea lift the Capital One Cup. He was certainly more prolific than Arsenal's new acquisitions Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski.
What will undoubtedly appeal to Wenger is Michu's performances against the elite of the EPL. He scored against both Manchester United and Chelsea.
Neither Podolski or Giroud managed to find the net against any of the league's top three teams. That is a major issue for a squad hoping to mount a credible title challenge.
Michu also suits Arsenal's intricate, quick pass and move style. Swansea play a similar brand of passing football under manager Michael Laudrup.
Michu consistently operated as the focal point for Swansea's classy build up play. He flourished thanks to intelligent and varied movement off the ball.
The Spaniard's quick runs position him to finish off moves. That is a skill Arsenal's current attackers do not boast.
As well as better movement in forward areas, Michu is a superior finisher, particularly compared to Giroud. The ex-Montpellier standout is Arsenal's only traditional central striker.
His problem is a lack of composure once a chance is created. Giroud did manage to net 17 goals, but in truth, he spurned almost as many excellent opportunities.
By contrast, Michu was calm and assured as a finisher. He offered an above average aerial threat, but his touch on the ground was particularly impressive.
Unlike Giroud, Michu does not attempt to thump every effort into the net. He places his chances with quality side foot finishes, preferring to pass the ball into the net.
As a former attacking midfielder, Michu has blossomed into the model of the modern No.9. Rather than a typical centre-forward, Michu is a roving main striker.
Wenger can be credited with starting that trend at the forward position. He groomed Nicolas Anelka, Thierry Henry and Robin van Persie to redefine the position.
Michu is an interesting target for the Gunners. He has proven his talents in the EPL and fits the mode of attractive football Wenger emphasizes. But that does not necessarily mean this is a realistic transfer.
After all, Michu has only been at Swansea for one season. He may have signed for only £2 million last summer, but his price will be significantly higher now.
Wenger would need to combine the lure of UEFA Champions League participation with a hefty fee, to convince Swansea to relinquish their biggest star so soon.
If the fee exceeds the £15 million mark, that could give Arsenal pause. Wenger may consider that a lavish price for a 27-year-old.
This would be a stellar deal for Arsenal. But at the moment, it looks more like the stuff dreams are made of.1004858