Football Features

Swansea City’s 2013 League Cup winners: where are Michu & Co. now?

By Mohamed Moallim

Published: 20:15, 25 April 2021 | Updated: 19:23, 10 September 2021

Swansea City were formed in 1912 but would have to wait 101 years for their moment in the sun.

That occasion was the 2013 League Cup final, in which Michael Laudrup led them to their first (and still only) major piece of silverware. It was a run that saw them eliminate previous winners Liverpool and Chelsea, the latter in the two-legged semi-final, before putting five past surprise finalist Bradford City without reply.

Around this period the Swans were often held up as a symbol of a modest club playing extravagant football while living within their means. What also helped was the presence of a core philosophy which each successive manager – notably Roberto Martínez, Paulo Sousa, Brendan Rodgers and Laudrup – retained.

But all good things must come to an end. Relegation from the Premier League in 2018 has seen them subsequently struggle in the second tier of English football.

There seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel. Swansea reached the Championship play-offs last term, and manager Steve Cooper is determined to achieve promotion this forthcoming season, but in the meantime it’s worth looking back and seeing what that class of 2013 have done since.

GK: Gerhard Tremmel

Swansea City appearances: 52

Current club: Retired

Tremmel made Swansea his last permanent club after previously turning out for Hannover 96, Hertha BSC and Red Bull Salzburg. He would nominally be utilised as the club’s second-choice goalkeeper behind Michel Vorm and predominantly featured in the cup competitions.

During the 2012/13 campaign, he’d play in all seven of their League Cup fixtures, conceding four times and keeping the same number of clean sheets.

RB: Àngel Rangel

Swansea City appearances: 367

Current club: Retired

A former club stalwart. Rangel would prominently play his football in the Barcelona region before fellow countryman Martínez signed him in 2007, and the Spainard never looked back amassing over 350 appearances. Having started in League One, he’d play a key role in Swansea’s rise up the leagues before departing in 2018 for QPR, where he played before hanging up his boots last summer.

CB: Ki Sung-yueng

Swansea City appearances: 162

Current club: FC Seoul

Ki’s first taste of British football, having started at FC Seoul, came at Scottish giants Celtic, making 66 league appearances before Swansea decided to bring him down south. It was there he quickly became an integral fixture and though a central midfielder by trade, Laudrup fielded him in the heart of defence against The Bantams. Following the club’s demotion he joined Newcastle United where Steve Bruce counted on him before returning home and embarking on a second spell at FC Seoul.

CB: Ashley Williams

Swansea City appearances: 352

Current club: Retired

Midway through his Premier League run with Swansea, whom he joined in 2008 from Stockport County, there were arguments being put forward suggesting Williams should be considered among the best centre-backs in England’s top-division.

He rarely let the Swans down, but since leaving for Everton the Wolverhampton-born Wales international has seen his stock nosedive. The Toffees released him after last season, which he spent on loan at Stoke City. Williams was last seen plying his trade at Bristol City and subsequently retired from action in January 2021.

LB: Ben Davies

Swansea City appearances: 85

Current club: Tottenham Hotspur

One of the few to have left Swansea for greater things and be a resounding success. Davies, through a string of stellar performances, was always going to interest English football’s top clubs and it was Spurs who nabbed him in 2004 initially as Danny Rose’s understudy.

The Welshman would gradually usurp his more experienced teammate. However, the 2019/20 campaign began with Davies finding himself reverted back to the role he used to play, but after bouncing back from a lengthy spell on the sidelines with a troublesome ankle injury he won back the spot though Sergio Reguilón is proving to be stiff competition.

CM: Leon Britton

Swansea City appearances: 438

Current club: Retired

Before joining Llanelli Town for a brief spell last year, Britton temporarily took charge of Swansea City, whom he’s served as player across two spells. A former West Ham academy graduate, the Merton-born midfielder enjoyed a season at Sheffield United in between representing the Welsh club.

CM: Jonathan de Guzmán

Swansea City appearances: 93

Current club: OFI Crete

The much-travelled Dutchman is one of eight players to have scored in each of Europe’s top four leagues (La Liga, Premier League, Serie A and the Bundesliga). His showings for the Swans was enough to convince Louis van Gaal to take him to the 2014 World Cup and from there De Guzmán joined Napoli before moving onto Eintracht Frankfurt where he stayed until this summer. He now plays for Greek side, OFI.

De Guzman scored twice in the 2013 final.

RW: Nathan Dyer

Swansea City appearances: 346

Current club: Unattached

On the count of being loaned out to Leicester City in the 2015/16 season, Dyer has a Premier League winners medal. The pacy winger returned and stayed at the Liberty Stadium, where he first rocked up in 2009, until the end of last season.

Dyer was named Man of the Match in the final against Bradford on account of himself scoring twice for Swansea. No player managed to score more for the Jacks than Dyer’s final three-goal total across the 2012/13 League Cup competition.

AM: Pablo Hernández

Swansea City appearances: 71

Current club: Leeds United

Leeds United ended a 16-year exile from the Premier League last season, playing a pivotal role was ex-Valencia man Hernández, who spent only two seasons at Swansea — after representing Los Che with distinction — but made an impact nonetheless.

LW: Wayne Routledge

Swansea City appearances: 302

Current club: Swansea City

Routledge began at Crystal Palace before representing no fewer than seven clubs – including Swansea’s arch-rivals Cardiff City – until he donned the club’s familiar white jersey. He’s now playing in his tenth consecutive season for the club.

ST: Michu

Swansea City appearances: 67

Current club: Retired

One of the great one-season wonders. Michu, who joined from Rayo Vallecano in 2012, across his debut campaign would bag 18 goals across 35 Premier League outings and scored in their League Cup final success, finishing the competition as their joint-top scorer alongside Dyer.

He would never enjoy such lofty heights, mostly on account of fitness issues, and would ultimately be forced into retirement. Today he’s serving the technical secretary at boyhood club Real Oviedo.

Substitutes:

Garry Monk

Swansea City appearances: 251

Current club: Retired

Monk famously succeeded Laudrup as Swansea manager in February 2014 and would go on to oversee 77 matches in all competitions, winning 28 of those, before moving onto Leeds United and Middlesbrough. He recently took charge of Birmingham City, but that lasted for one season.

The Bedford-born tactician most recently managed Sheffield Wednesday but was let go in November 2020 due to poor form.

Dwight Tiendalli

Swansea City appearances: 46

Current club: Retired

The Dutch full-back started at Ajax’s esteemed academy but never made the grade, instead turning out for FC Utrecht and Feyenoord prior to establishing himself at FC Twente from where Swansea signed him from. He would hang up his boots in 2018 after briefly representing Oxford United.

Roland Lamah

Swansea City appearances: 24

Current club: Unattached

The five-time capped Belgian international, who was last seen in MLS with FC Cincinnati after a spell with FC Dallas, has to date played in seven countries. Before moving stateside, he enjoyed a year-long loan at Swansea City from Osasuna, where he ultimately made 14 league appearances.