Date: 23rd June 2012 at 11:17pm
Written by:

Vital Latics are delighted, nay, proud to welcome back the feature – ‘Taco Corner’ – the words of wisdom by Vital member taco can often bring a sobering reflection to a well debated topic, today taco takes a look at why Victor Moses will end up at Chelsea and how this will be of benefit to the Latics:

Over the past few days, we’ve seen a very vocal Dave Whelan expressing his views on why Victor Moses should stay at Wigan Athletic for another year or two to develop his career, rather than moving on to a club like Chelsea. These views seem to make some sense and the opinions of Wigan fans seem to reflect them as well. But regardless of the way that Moses’ career will progress should he secure the move he wants, there are several factors that suggest that him moving on this summer might actually leave Wigan better off.

Now don’t get me wrong, I do understand the common opinions on why Victor Moses should stay at Wigan instead of going to Chelsea. But wasn’t he only 19 and getting regular first team football in the Championship before we plucked him out and had him wait in the reserves for his chance? I know that the situation was different in that Palace were facing administration and needed the money, but my point is that it certainly doesn’t seem to have hurt his development.

My second view on the matter is that when a player does not want to be at a club, it is pretty much against the club’s best interests to keep him there. I knew we would miss him but I fully agreed with the club’s decision to sell Charles N’Zogbia last year. He was immense for us in the season before but had stars in his eyes come the close season and would not have been the same player for us had we kept him for the final year.

I also felt the same about Hugo Rodallega, and was disappointed in the club’s decision to keep him and let him run out his contract, even though it would have meant losing two of our best attacking players at once. He had put in his time here, given his all for the club, proven himself as a Premier League player and was ready to take the next step in his career. As it happened, we held on to him for a year too long (or maybe the bids never came? Who’s to say) and he had a poor season, which only ended up costing us his wages and what would have been a sizable transfer fee.

My third opinion is perhaps the most important one: his value to our team is being overstated, and in all honesty, we really just don’t need him that badly. We saw this last year when N’Zogbia left for Aston Villa and everybody (except for myself, of course) immediately concluded that we would struggle to replace him. Yet we inserted another talented winger and gave him a freedom to create similar to that which N’Zogbia enjoyed, and the result was a similarly excellent season, with similar interest from some of the top clubs in the country at its conclusion.

While some of this success undoubtedly lies in the talents of the individuals, the fact is that Wigan has become a premier destination for the type of budding young winger with the skill and willingness to take defenders on. There are a number of ways to illustrate this, but the simplest is to look at player dribbling stats over the last few years. In his two final years at the club, Charles N’Zogbia attempted 554 dribbles, more than double anyone else in the Premier League in that span (Gareth Bale came second, with 258). When he left, that honour went to Victor Moses with 247.

The reason for this is that much of our offense is generated from the dribbling and running of this type of player, and the result is that Wigan provides an immense number of opportunities for a winger to do this that is seldom, if ever, found at this level of club football. In all honesty, this is probably one of the strongest arguments for why Moses should stay.

With all that in mind, I’m going to conclude this article by making several predictions.

First, that Victor Moses will leave the club this summer. I know the title specifies Chelsea, but the reality is that he will ultimately sign with whichever club chooses to offer us an acceptable fee. For the record, £4 or £5 million is not acceptable, but it isn’t as far off as some people think.

Second, that this time we will be buying a like-for-like replacement. I do expect Albert Crusat to enjoy a greater role with the team next year, but I would think that Martinez would want another right-footed player who can cut in from the wing and pass or shoot to complement Jean Beausejour’s excellent crossing ability from the left. Incidentally, in the last two seasons we have earned N’Zogbia France caps, and Moses a regular place in the Nigeria team, not to mention the lucrative contract that Zog now enjoys and Moses soon expects to. I don’t think attracting a young and talented player will pose too difficult a problem.

Finally, I believe the magic number will be right around £8 million. I know it’s less than we want, but it’s still a good return on a player who wants out and whose deal is running low. On the flip side, a club such as Chelsea should recognize that it represents a good bargain for a player who is young, talented, home-grown, and whose abilities and value will undoubtedly increase in the years to come.


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