In the summer Swansea City acquired possibly the best piece of transfer business of the entire season when they snapped up Spanish attacking midfielder Michu from Rayo Vallecano for a cut-price fee.
Since then he has been a sensation at the Liberty Stadium scoring all manner of goals with his left foot, right foot and his head and endearing himself to the Swansea faithful with his hard-working attitude and humble nature.
His 19 goals this season should not have come as a surprise. He was La Liga’s top scoring midfield player last season after netting 15 goals for the Madrid-based outfit.
However there was one member of that Vallecano team who played a pivotal role in Michu’s success with minimal fuss.
Because as Michu bombed on from midfield to support the front-man there had to be a player willing to sacrifice glory and recognition for the low-key and underappreciated task of breaking up the play in the defensive midfield position; that player was Javi Fuego.
This season he has finally begun to receive the appreciation he deserves as one of the top tacklers in European football this season.
It was such form that saw him linked all manner of teams throughout January. The likes of Werder Bremen, Wolfsburg, Osasuna and Porto were all mentioned as holding a potential interest in the understated performer’s talents but English interest was also abounding with Wigan, and you guessed it, Swansea keen on his signature.
The move became more tantalising when the man who has made a habit of dispossessing Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Arda Turan contract entered its last six months at the start of February.
The idea of partnering the two players in the Premier League would certainly have got the attention of Michael Laudrup.
However it is now very clear that such a move will not be happening; as Spanish giants Valencia appear to have agreed a deal with the 29-year-old for next season; who will be tasked with replacing the departing club legend David Albelda.
The combative but technically gifted midfielder would have made an exquisite acquisition for any Premier League team but certainly would have fitted into the system at Swansea with consummate ease and missing out on his free transfer will be a blip for The Swans European hopes next season.
Then again after the wonders Laudrup achieved in the summer of 2012 something tells you he will be at it again this year.
Do you think Swansea should have signed Javi Fuego?
image: © swans100