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Pablo Hernandez looks to the stars as Swansea’s Spanish revolution gets back on track
- Updated: 20 October, 2012
After going five league games without a win, Swansea City finally picked up three points on Saturday with a 2-1 victory over Wigan Athletic that was inspired by the club’s two summer imports from Spain’s La Liga.
While former Rayo Vallecano midfielder Michu may have hit the ground running on his arrival in South Wales – scoring four goals in his first four games, fellow countryman Pablo Hernandez found the net for the first time against Roberto Martinez’s men on Saturday and has, so far, received far less column inches than his more-prolific team mate.
Yet Pablo could very well prove to be the signing of the season for Swans boss Michael Laudrup as he looks to carry on the work that was expertly begun by Martinez himself before Brendan Rodgers finally took Swansea to the promised land of the Barclays Premier League two years ago.
The Castellon-born winger arrived at the Liberty Stadium after the Welsh side paid Valencia a modest £5.5 million to secure the former Spanish international on a three-year deal and when you consider the inflated prices of some of the league’s home-grown players, it’s hard to argue that Laudrup could just have pulled off a major coup.
Although the deal smashed their previous transfer record, Swansea have somehow managed to find themselves a Spanish international who has played an integral part of Valencia CF for the past four years for the same price that Stoke City paid Liverpool for big money flop, Charlie Adam.
Having managed Hernandez during his time at Getafe, Laudrup knew exactly what he was getting when he put pen to paper on the deal, and at the age of 27, the Danish coach has secured his man for what could be the prime of his career.
Laudrup declared: “I managed Pablo in Getafe, he did fantastic for us. In fact he did so well he went back to Valencia, who are the equivalent in Spain of Arsenal over here.
“I think he has played 27 Champions League games in the last three seasons and made his debut in the national team. It is a fantastic signing for us and I am looking forward to having him here. He is a good player with the right mentality. Even if he comes from a big club he has that personality and mentality that he wants to go on.”
It is that personality and mentality that could see Pablo follow in the foot steps of former Valencia stars David Silva and Juan Mata, who have both made seamless transitions to life in the Premier League after leaving the Mestalla. The winger has already spoken of his desire to impress in his new surroundings and has also been quoted as saying that he will do whatever it takes to succeed, and according to new team mate and fellow Spaniard Angel Rangel, there is little doubt that the winger will be a success.
“Pablo has really made an effect in training already and when he came on against Villa he made an impact and tried everything to help the team,” he told the club’s official website, “He is a tricky player who has the quality to score goals and get a lot of assists, and I think he will be a hit for us.”
And while in his five appearances to date, Swansea have won just one game, there have been glimpses that the diminutive Spaniard is starting to adapt to the demands of the Premier League.
In Swansea’s recent game against Reading, Pablo nearly completed the most dramatic of turnarounds after a delightful chip went just over bar amid claims of handball, and he went one better when a fantastic turn and shot sent Swansea well on the way to victory against Wigan this weekend.
It will take time for Hernandez to adjust of course, yet when he does there should be little doubt that Swansea posess a player of the highest quality.
The Spanish revolution in South Wales is well under way and while Michu may presently be grabbing the headlines, Pablo Hernandez has the ability and drive to become the true star of this talented Laudrup side.