The last few transfer windows I’ve had a glance around Europe to try and rustle up a few potential players that might help Wigan in the remainder of the season. None of the ones I’ve come up with have ever been signed but it’s usually a good debate!
Anyway, I’ve done the same for this window, here’s who I’ve come up with:
Míchel, 24, Levante
Former Valencia midfielder, currently the creative force behind Levante’s impressive season. Scored three goals and set up another five. The whole of Spain is in financial crisis, especially the football clubs, so Iberia could provide some bargains.
Aly Cissokho, 25, Valencia
We’re getting a bit ambitious here, but Valencia’s financial troubles are probably the worst in Spain. Huge debts, a half-finished stadium and struggling a bit in the league. Cissokho is a perfect wing back though, quick and good going forward. Might be a bit expensive though.
Sofiane Feghouli, 23, Valencia
THE creative player at Valencia. If he goes they’re in trouble. A bit hot-headed at times but he’s a properly inventive ‘in-the-hole’ player. Started his career out wide too so can fill in if needed.
Joao Pereira, 28, Valencia
A right wing back, only signed for Valencia last summer (for only 3.6m Euros, too) but could be available. Got a nasty streak in him but a very good player.
Andrés Guardado, 26, Valencia
A left-sided player, primarily a winger but has played at full back for former clubs and country. Might be worth a shout as a wing back. Would almost certainly be available despite only signing last summer as he’s not been that good in a Valencia shirt.
Jérémy Mathieu, 29, Valencia
Another potential left wing back, who has played both at full back and on the wing. Getting on a bit, and almost moved to England several times before ending up in Spain.
Éver Banega, 24, Valencia
Now we’re well into wishful thinking territory. A deep-lying playmaker of the highest quality, exceptional on the ball and decent defensively in a way only Argentinians are. Probably most famous for breaking his leg last March when he was run over by his own car. His own car.
Federico Fazio, 25, Sevilla
Mountain of a central defender. Not bad on the ball either.
Tomer Hemed, 25, Mallorca
Israeli striker, who’s Mallorca’s top scorer this season. They’re also in financial dire straits, and hovering perilously close to the drop zone.
Nacho Monreal, 26, Málaga
Another left back who would fit into our team perfectly. Think a poor man’s Jordi Alba and you’re half way there. Málaga’s financial troubles are well documented, Monreal is one of the real bankable assets left if there’s a firesale.
Guilherme Siquiera, 26, Granada
Flying left wing back who’s almost certain to move in the next six months. I seem to remember him being offered for something like 8m Euros though, so out of our price range. Good player though.
Pablo Sarabia, 20, Getafe
One of the real young stars of La Liga. Formerly of Real Madrid, he’s probably Getafe’s best player. Nippy little winger, the picture is complicated slightly by Madrid being able to buy him back if they choose this summer.
Hugo Mallo, 21, Celta Vigo
Been mentioned several times as a potential signing, a right wing back who’s played for every Spanish side below the senior team. Young, experienced and playing for a struggling team, he could be perfect.
Iago Aspas, 25, Celta Vigo
Heavily linked with Swansea, he’s Celta’s top scorer this season. Mobile and clever, he’ll probably move this window – probably to England. Not the biggest, he might be worth a risk.
Roberto Canella, 24, Sporting Gijón
Nowhere near earning promotion back to the top flight, Sporting have another player mentioned in relation to Wigan. Another wing back of some repute, he’s captain at Sporting but the lure of top division football could help. Really good player.
Alfred Finnbogason, 23, Heerenveen
Second top scorer in the Eredivisie this season, despite being generally terrible when he’s played outside of Scandinavia. His team are only three points better off than the relegation spots, so they may be persuaded to sell.
Konstantinos Mitroglou, 24, Olympiacos
Greek clubs are also struggling to survive, so players may have to leave. Olympiacos have a few good players who could transfer to England, starting with Mitroglou. Six league goals this season, as well as four in the Champions League – if you recognise his name it’s probably because two of those came against Arsenal.
Ioannis Fetfatzidis, 22, Olympiacos
Known as the ‘Greek Messi’ for his dribbling skills. Small, quick, brilliant on the ball. Not sure where he’d fit into our current system but if you want a direct Moses replacement, you could do a lot worse.
Vasilis Torosidis, 27, Olympiacos
A full back who can play on either side of the pitch or on the wing. Has also filled in playing in midfield too. Very versatile, tall for a full back as well.
So there you go, there’s a load of players I’ll have missed but there’s a few names to get us all started. Apologies for it being a bit Spain-heavy but that’s what I see the most of and where I reckon the most bargains will be – thanks to the financial crisis, as well as the Spanish government calling in about £750m worth of unpaid taxes from football clubs. They’re in trouble and a lot will have to sell to survive. Play it right and we could have some absolute bargains!
The latest edition of the PWU Wigan Athletic podcast is now available for download. In this the first recording of 2013 the panel is Barry, Dan, Rob, Gareth and Paul.
Under discussion this week there are the Aston Villa and Manchester United (08:30) reviews. Next up is the Bournemouth preview (23:00), this should be a good game. Other topics discussed along the way are new signings, finances and Mauro Boselli
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