A new 2 and-a-half year contract for Michael Laudrup shows another step in the right direction for Swansea City, and can be taken as another sign to indicate that the Jacks’ meteoric rise has by no means stopped. One major trophy amongst other great achievements shows that Laudrup is the right man to bring success to the Liberty Stadium for several seasons.
When Brendan Rodgers decided he wanted to call time on his 2 year spell at Swansea, not many were optimistic about the club’s ability to continue their improvement. Rodgers brought to South Wales promotion to the Premier League, a solid 11th place finish in their debut season in England’s top flight and an enviable style of football which gained plaudits throughout the footballing world.
However, Rodgers’ replacement was a man who knew as well as anyone how to play a passing game and win trophies. That man was Michael Laudrup.
The Denmark midfield legend, arriving from Mallorca, went about his dealings in the transfer market very shrewdly. He secured the signatures of Chico Flores, Pablo Hernandez and Jonathan De Guzman, all of whom have been initiated into the Jacks’ team with ease. Although these have all turned out to be major coups, Laudrup most notable capture was that of Miguel Pérez Cuesta. That’s Michu, to me and you.
Filling the hole left by the outstanding Gylfi Sigurðsson was one of the most difficult tasks facing Laudrup and in purchasing Michu Swansea got the bargain of the season, for a mere £2.2 million. With 15 premier league goals already, the Spaniard – who has been deployed more often as a number nine – has already arisen as a contender for Premier League player of the year.
Great positioning combined with his knack for scoring goals earned Michu recognition from Vicente del Bosque, manager of world champions Spain. This epitomizes what has so far been a wonderful season for Michu, Swansea and Michael Laudrup. Michu unexpectedly signed a brand new four year contract in January, and has now been followed in putting pen to paper by his manager.
Obviously another key factor in Huw Jenkins decision to give Laudrup a new contract was the Jacks’ recent capital one cup success, as they triumphed over League Two Bradford 5-0 at Wembley. A scintillating display which portrayed what the Swans do best demonstrated that Laudrup is a great tactician in games of all nature.
A first ever major trophy win for Swansea was something to be celebrated, and the praise must go to the man at the helm. A move back to Spain as the future manager of his former club Real Madrid has recently been touted, but his signing of a new contract shows that he is confident of bringing even more success to the South Wales.
His side currently lies 8th in the table, and although Europa League football is already guaranteed at the Liberty Stadium, a push for the top 4 may seem out of reach but can’t be ruled out.
Jenkins, the chairman, acknowledges that Laudrup’s foreseeable future might not be managing his team, but he is familiar with having to replace his staff.
“Whatever happens to Michael Laudrup, whether it’s two years’ time or five years’ time when he leaves our club, it’s going to be a big position to fill and we need to be ready for that”, were the words of a very proud chairman.
So, with a new contract penned, a major trophy victory and a world class player signed, it’s hard to imagine Michael Laudrup could have made a better start to his managerial career in England. The Dane has won playing trophies across Europe and earned over 100 caps for his country, but he described the league cup success as the ‘most important of his career’.
His passion for the club is evident, and if & when he does decide to leave, he will be remembered fondly. The club’s first trophy can be the catalyst to even greater things, and with Laudrup as the boss, who knows? The opportunities are endless.
Written by Richard Burn
Follow Richard on Twitter @richard_burn15
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