It’s amazing what difference 12 years can make. Well actually it’s not but that’s the difference between Jason Scotland and Victor Moses, 12 years, nearly 50 goals and a whole lot of giddiness. Why do I mention this? Because I can’t help but wonder what’s going to happen if our new saviour doesn’t make an immediate impact. How will people react if, like most players, he takes time to settle in to the rigors of the Premier League?
I hope he’s given the time, or at least more time than Scotland was, being written off as early as the wolves game, but this is Wigan, and it’s a sorry fact that we often expect more from our players than they’re capable of, sooner than they are able to and wrapped up in a box that says “forget all that passing and fancy stuff, I work hard me”.
Because, let’s face it, this is a good signing, one that will hopefully create a buzz about the place, but it’s a signing for tomorrow rather than today, the lad is a prospect, not the finished article and whilst a bit of form might see him mentioned as an outsider for the England squad, I’ve nearly as much chance at the moment. I’ve no doubt the lad can play, but we’ve seen it enough times to know that anything you get from a player’s first six months in this division is a bonus.
The deal itself is a win-win for both Latics and Moses. We get a ready made hot prospect for the price of one of Theo Walcott’s shin pads; he gets to cut his teeth in a first team squad away from the limelight, rather than sitting in the reserves waiting his chance. The worse case for Latics is that they’ve taken on a player with time on his side to prove himself at this level and adds to the squad we have now, someone who could be here for years to come. The best case is we’ve signed a future international star who’ll put the performances in over the next two seasons to ear. Himself a move to a top club, or at least a contract extension until he does.
Moses gets a club that at worse will offer him football at the same level that he started this, at best he’ll be in a team that has stabilised and is pushing for Europe. Either way he gets a chance to prove himself early, to really make a name for himself without any shame (or a loan to PNE) if it doesn’t quite come off, from what I’ve seen there’s little to no chance of him plying his trade on a Tuesday night at th’athletics stadium.
The only people to lose out on the deal are those at Palace. They’ve lost one of their best young talents at a cut price. A price that might act as a sticking plaster on their current plight, but does nothing to help their long term future. They’ve been denied the pleasure of watch the lad develop and don’t even get to feel smug about who bought him.
For many it will feel a little bit like when Ellington went to West Brom and I’m sure a few will be perplexed that their best player has gone to a club that they feel belong below them on the natural pecking order, a little like how I was confused that Darren Patterson went to the Eagles when he was surely better than that.
But really it was what everyone needed at this point in time, Palace needed cash, Moses needed a move upwards, and Latics needed a player that would get the fans excited. Rather cynically, the best thing is that Latics stand to do best out of the whole thing, maybe Kaiser Dave hasn’t lost his touch just yet.
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