It says something about what being a fan of Wigan Athletic Football Club does for you. It takes a hefty dose of cynicism to not believe that a player’s signing is guaranteed, even though the two clubs have agreed a fee, he’s accepted a contract, passed a medical and had a work permit approved. If even then you were thinking that something was waiting around the corner that would see Jason Scotland stay at Swansea City, then you are truly welcome to the Latics fold.
As it happens, nothing did and Scotland was yesterday finally confirmed as Roberto Martinez’s third signing of his month long tenure.
It’s hardly the most inspiring of signings, a 30 year old West Indian with no notable experience either here or anywhere else really but at the same time he’s a man who’s scored 86 goals in 166 games over the last 4 seasons. Goals talk and if we hadn’t got him then someone else would have, whether or not he was a Latics player, Scotland would have been paying a visit to the DW next season.
The worrying possibility is that Scotland represents a massive error of judgement on behalf of Roberto Martinez. He’s been managing Scotland for the last two years and should know his abilities. If he is putting his faith on the player being Premier League class and you disagree, does that mean that Martinez doesn’t know what Premier League class is?
So how much of a risk is it? Bringing in a lad who’s got his share in the Championship, but hasn’t done it at the top level?
Well we’ve plenty to base our judgment on. In our time in the Premier League we’ve seen Jason Roberts, David Connolly and Marlon King in action. They’ve had differing levels of popularity and “success” and none exactly piled the goals in, so the signs aren’t good. On the face of it, the signs aren’t good but there’s another way of thinking about it.
Roberts cost £2m, Connolly the same and King £5m. On top of that Camara cost Latics £3m, Aghahowa something like £2.5m and Kapo £3.5m. At £1.5m and (at a guess) significantly lower wages, Scotland would struggle to do worse than four of that list, even though you could argue that so would Graeme Jones.
As a squad player, someone who can fill the gaps cover for injuries. Someone who is strong enough, quick enough and good enough not to embarrass himself or us and is maybe a quick enough learner to get a goal or two on the way. Then Scotland isn’t that bad a deal, the manager really does believe he’s got something (it’s way too early for a panic buy) and he’s not too much of a drain on big Dave’s helicopter fund.
For now I’m happy to hold judgement and see what the rest of pre-season brings, if it brings us goals then who won’t be happy, if not then there’s always the possibility of a bit more shopping.
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