Vital Wigan member Sheikh_Mahand takes a look around Europe, and a little farther afield, to see who just maybe of interest to the Latics this close season, over to you Sheikh:
Most are from clubs who have been or are going to be relegated, or from second division clubs in their respective countries. It’s just something to maybe get excited about, get a bit of Youtube scouting done! I’ve only gone into the major leagues as they’re the ones I’ve watched. I’m sure someone with far more knowledge than me will be able to spot a few more.
Takayuki Morimoto – sure I remember us being linked with him previously, a few years ago maybe. He doesn’t have the greatest scoring record in the world but he’s played for really struggling teams. Can play up front or wide, might be a similar player to Rodallega. I’ve never seen him play but there were a few ripples when he first moved to Europe, he was the great hope of Japanese football for a while. Never seems to have made it, but might be worth a shot to see if he can regain his potential.
Unlikely to be relegated, but they’ve got a fantastic squad to have a look at, fingers crossed they do go down as there are a few players I’d like to see over here.
Miguel Veloso – linked with every top club in Europe at one time, he’s a Portuguese midfielder of some quality. Highly unlikely to end up at Wigan if he leaves though, I’m sure Chelsea wanted him for a spell.
Rodrigo Palacio – another quality player, I’ve seen him play a few times on television and he`s always impressed. Quite quick, excellent on the ball and scores a few goals too. Another one who could replace Rodallega, can play wide or up front. Getting on a bit though, already 30, and might be too expensive.
Valter Birsa – another one we’ve been linked with in the past, and another player who could replace Rodallega. Can play wide or up front, Birsa looked pretty good for Slovenia at the World Cup and scored a corker against the USA in the Group Stages. Hasn’t played much for Genoa this season, no idea why. Might be a goer.
FC Koln: Definately relegated.
Miso Brecko – attacking right back, another Slovenian. Don’t know a huge amount about him, although his name rang a bell from the World Cup. Only a year left on his contract too, so could replace Stam?
Jong Tae-Se – the North Korean Wayne Rooney. According to North Korea. Another one who will ring a bell from the World Cup (he was the one who cried with pride/choreography during the North Korean national anthem), he’s a striker in the Dirk Kuyt mode. Works hard, didn’t seem particularly spectacular but might fit into our system. Seems quite similar to di Santo, although he only signed for Koln in January.
Relegation is quite open still, but bear in mind almost all clubs towards the bottom half of the league have awful financial problems, so there could be some bargains to be had.
Looking likely to be relegated, 3 from safety with one to play.
Roberto Canella – an attacking left back, played for the Spanish teams all the way through the age divisions to U-21 level. Gijon really don’t have a good squad, but on the odd time they’ve been on telly he’s looked decent enough, given we only have one actual left back in the squad he might be worth a shout if they’re relegated.
Oscar Trejo – bit of a gamble this one, as he’s been fairly useless for quite a while, but I remember the young Trejo taking the field for Mallorca in one of his first games and terrifying whoever they were playing. He looked the real deal, quick and good on the ball. Never happened for him and he’s gone off the boil by the looks of things in the intervening years. Wigan might be a decent shout for him to get his career back on track.
Bit complicated this one, they’re in the bottom three but have the same points as 17th place. Relegation will go to the last day.
Angel Lafita – went for him last year I think, interest may still be there. Would be cheaper than last year, if we still want him.
The aforementioned team in 17th place, aka where we got Diame from. May well go down.
Raul Tamudo – again, went for him last year I think. Done alright at Rayo, eight goals in a struggling side isn’t bad. Age is against him though, 34 now. Might be too old to take a risk on.
Now we’re getting into unlikely territory, Villarreal are a point ahead of Zaragoza, but surely they won’t go down? Plenty of good players if they do…
Mateo Musacchio – young Argentine centre back, struggled to establish himself in the first place but very young and has a lot of potential. Not the tallest, but that never stopped Gary Caldwell did it! Would struggle to attract him here though I would imagine, if they did go down he’d be one Villarreal would want to keep.
Nilmar – excellent striker, although whether he could cope with less time on the ball in England I’m not sure. Scores a few though, and played really well for Brazil last time I saw them, incidentally when they played England out in the Middle East. Bigger clubs would probably circle.
Jonathan de Guzman – versatile attacking midfielder, remember him coming through the ranks at Feyenoord a few years back before he moved on. Seen him a few times in the league this year and he looked bright, although again I would imagine bigger clubs would be looking at him.
Marco Ruben – yet another former target, we supposedly got almost to the dotted line with him back in 2010. Really stepped up for Villarreal, given he was languishing in the B team when we were looking at him. Could be worth going back for, although I fear another Boselli.
Cristian Zapata – absolute monster of a centre back, he always looked the part for Udinese so I was surprised a bigger club didn’t come along for him than Villarreal. Quick, strong, good in the air and on the floor, I’d love him to fit into our back three. Little bit prone to mistakes, but that will probably come with age. Another one who bigger clubs would be after, but we can dream!
Borja Valero – was absolutely rubbish at West Brom not that long ago, but since his return to Spain he’s been excellent, leading to rumours Real Madrid wanted him not that long ago. A thinking man’s midfielder in the mould of your Iniestas and your Xavis, might flourish in a more relaxed Wigan system.
The last of the teams who (I think) can be relegated, they’re two points from the drop zone.
Pape Diakhate – another big centre half, who’s bounced around Europe quite a bit. Had a spell at Lyon and looked good a few African Cup of Nations ago, but outside of that I’m not sure how good he’d turn out.
Hassan Yebda – some might remember him from a loan spell at Portsmouth a few years ago, an all-action midfielder who certainly impressed me. Chipped in with a couple of goals too. Only signed for Granada last year though.
Yohan Mollo – a quick winger who can play on either flank, he was very highly rated at Monaco not that long ago. They were relegated, so he moved on. Spent the last six months at Nancy back in France, so I’ve got no idea whether he’d be either available or willing to move to England.
Still one or two games left, looks likely that Deportivo and Valladolid will be promoted. Still the playoff positions to be filled though, so some of these may become unsignable.
Hernan Bernadello – a previous target for Martinez, a deeper lying playmaker type player. If Almeria don’t win the playoffs, expect another bid.
Ligue 2 (France):
Not much on offer in the top flight, but these clubs won’t be being promoted:
Ismael Bangoura – Was this the bloke who we nearly signed a few years back in January from the Middle East? Can’t remember. Anyway, he’s another potential Rodallega – scored a bucket load of goals in Ukraine, although he’s lost his way a little since. Only recently joined Nantes so perhaps unlikely to come.
Bear in mind with these players that Monaco were bought by a very rich man not too long ago, which may make purchasing them difficult.
Ibrahima Toure – big striker who’s had a nomadic life so far. He seems to have finally settled at Monaco though, he’s got a pretty good scoring record this season. Never seen him play though.
Chris Malonga – imposing box-to-box midfielder, could be a replacement for Diame. Chips in with a few goals too. Not seen him play for Monaco, it’s a few years since the last time I saw him on TV.
As for the Swiss teams mentioned before, Sion will face a relegation play-off I think, and the only player I’ve heard of in their team is a striker by the name of Danilo – when I was away in the summer, I actually went to a Hungarian league game at Honved, his previous club. He scored twice and looked pretty good, but the standard of the Hungarian league is absolutely woeful. He joined Sion in January, so I don’t know if he’d either be interested or good enough. Two other clubs have supposedly been refused licenses for next season, although what that means is anyone’s guess – they could well be relegated, but that would be about half the league going at once!
Young Boys have a couple of players who seem alright, although I’m only going off those games against Spurs a while back and the odd international I’ve seen. The African Cup of Nations top scorer mentioned before is Emmanuel Mayuka, he’s not very old at all and did look very good in January, but whether that’s a good representation we’ll never know. We don’t have the greatest of records with African strikers, Mido and Aghahowa spring to mind! He looks miles better than either of those though.
The other two clubs with revoked licenses are Servette and FC Zurich, but I’ve never heard of anyone who plays for either.
So there you go Roberto, there’s your summer scouting done for you! I’m not in the best position to comment on these guys, as I’ve only seen them play a few times each but I suppose it’s better than nothing. A few names to stick into Youtube anyway!
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