Martinez in the transfer market – hit or miss?

We have approached Wigan Athletic website Pie Eaters Footie for their view on our new manager’s dealings in the transfer market. They have provided us with an incredibly honest and insightful look back at Roberto Martinez’ successes and failures in the transfer market during his four years in charge at the DW Stadium.

Roberto Martinez is well-known in the English game for his passing football philosophy and for his calm exterior and suave style and sophistication. One thing many people don’t associate with him is being able to do well in the transfer market. Over his four years at Wigan, he has brought in a lot of talented players who can go on to bigger and better things.

Martinez

From the word go in 2009, Martinez was signing young players to the Wigan Athletic books. In his first summer, the manager swooped to bring in James McCarthy and Mohamed Diame. Both of whom I think you will agree have grown into established Premier League footballers.

Also that summer Roberto brought in Jason Scotland and Jordi Gomez, having had both of them at his former club Swansea City, costing just short of £4 million between them; yet these two show the other side of the Martinez’s transfer dealings, the players who don’t quite hit the mark.

That has kind of set the tone for Roberto Martinez transfer dealings; more often than not though Roberto digs up some gems that will go onto big things. The big name that seems to stand out for most people is James McCarthy, yet for me he isn’t Martinez’s biggest success.

The signing of Shaun Maloney for £1 million from Celtic in 2011 proved to be one of the best pieces of business that Martinez has done at Latics. A player many felt was past his best and a player who looked likely to see out the rest of his career failing to fulfill his true potential, has been a complete revolution since coming to Wigan.

Surprisingly though Martinez seems to be best when picking up players from Scotland. At Wigan, Martinez has signed a total of six players from Scotland and all of them have proven to be great buys for the club. The possible reason for him dipping so much into the Scottish market seems to be that it is so much cheaper for Wigan.

Last summer though, two of our best buys came from Spain and you have to say they were good purchases. Ivan Ramis and Arouna Kone joining the club and both went on to have fantastic seasons for the club. Ramis missing half the season due to injury, showed glimpse of a classy defender, while Kone showed that a bargain striker is out there if you look hard enough.

There have been a host of other names from Spain linked to Wigan over the years, but it seems that we at Wigan have sometimes been out competed for the players. An increased wage and transfer budget for Martinez may render bigger targets.

Roberto Martinez a wheeler deal or indecisive novice in the transfer market? At Wigan he has had a mixed bag with some great signings who have really benefited the club, on the other hand he had made a few blunders who have cost the club quite a bit of money.

The prime suspect for being a complete waste of money goes to Mauro Boselli. The Argentinian striker who was on the call up list for the 2010 Argentinean world club squad, and following many well regarded scouting reports the club and Martinez took a £6 million gamble on the striker to bring him to Wigan. It was suggested at the time that he was on the radar of Bayern Munich and Manchester United.

How glad they must now be that they didn’t buy him. The striker has only managed five goals for Wigan in 23 games during his Latics career, and so far our attempts to get rid of him have come to nothing more than loan deals.

By Kieran Heapy

Editor of Pie Eaters Footie

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