Despite a bit of a disappointing finish, Swansea City enjoyed a dream first season under Michael Laudrup, which included winning the Capital One Cup. Peter Fraser picks out the highlights and star players from a memorable campaign
Last Updated: 21/05/13 2:21pm
It has been a campaign to savour for Swansea City. Many sceptics thought the Welsh club would suffer from second season syndrome in the Premier League, particularly after last summer's departure of former boss Brendan Rodgers.
But the legendary Michael Laudrup has enhanced his reputation since taking over as manager at the Liberty Stadium. Inspired by bargain signing Michu, Swansea added an increased cutting edge to their attractive, passing style and they look set for a top-half finish. Having also won their first major trophy by famously lifting the Capital One Cup after thrashing Bradford City at Wembley, 2012/13 was a classic for Swansea fans.
Player of the Year
Michu has taken the Premier League by storm after Laudrup shrewdly captured the forward from Rayo Vallecano for a staggeringly cheap £2million. Eighteen Premier League goals at the time of writing is not a bad return to say the least.
Ratings Player of the Year
Unsurprisingly, Michu ranked highest in the views of Sky Sports' reporters over the course of the season with an average rating of 6.8. But goalkeeper Michel Vorm was a readers' favourite. The shot-stopper averaged 7.4, although he did miss part of the campaign through injury.
Breakthrough Player of the Year
Ben Davies capitalised on the injury suffered by Neil Taylor to thrive at left-back in his team-mate's eight-month absence. Energetic, defensively reliable and an ability to cleverly use the ball, the 20-year-old appears experienced beyond his years and has been linked with Manchester City.
Signing of the Year
It would be easy to again pick Michu, who was arguably the best signing in the Premier League. But, instead, the influence of Chico Flores cannot be overlooked. The classy defender was brought in for just £2million and has proved an ideal partner for Ashley Williams.
Could do better
Dwight Tiendalli was signed from FC Twente at the end of the summer transfer window but the 27-year-old defender has made just 11 Premier League starts at the time of writing. Questions about the Dutchman's defensive reliability have meant Laudrup has preferred the inexperienced likes of Davies.
Such has been Michael Laudrup's impact since arriving at Swansea last summer, the Dane is reportedly among the targets for Real Madrid - where he spent time as a player - if they are to replace Jose Mourinho. Real would face a tough task given Laudrup signed a one-year contract extension in March. Winning the Capital One Cup will live long in the memory but Laudrup also deserves credit for taking predecessor Brendan Rodgers' blueprint and increasing the speed of Swansea's attacking play.
Jamie Redknapp's view
Along with West Brom, Swansea are one of the teams of the season for me. They've had a fantastic year, winning the Capital One Cup and doing well in the league, although their form has tailed off since their Wembley win. Michu is one of the signings of the season and, considering he only cost £2m, it is astonishing what he's done. Swansea have carried on from what Brendan Rodgers developed and, if anything, they have looked more of an attacking force now. I've been very, very impressed with what they've done.