Espinoza deal done for Latics

Honduras' Roger Espinoza, left, battles for the ball with Morocco's Abdelaziz Barrada during the London 2012 Summer Olympics
Honduras' Roger Espinoza, left, battles for the ball with Morocco's Abdelaziz Barrada during the London 2012 Summer Olympics
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LATICS boss Roberto Martinez believes Roger Espinoza will become “an important asset to our squad” after kicking off his January recruitment last night.

The Honduras international has put pen to paper on a two-and-a-half year contract at the DW, and will join Wigan when the transfer window re-opens on January 1.

Latics have been chasing the Sporting Kansas City midfielder – who rooms with Maynor Figueroa on international duty – for some time.

But it’s only now they can announce the deal after he was granted permission to work in the UK by an FA panel.

Espinoza won’t have received international clearance in time to face Manchester United on New Year’s Day, but he is in line to make his debut in the FA Cup third-round clash against Bournemouth on January 5.

“We prepared an excellent case for Roger and it is great news for us that he can now join up in January,” said Martinez.

“He is a player we have been following closely since June 2010, when he made his debut in the World Cup versus Chile.

“In that game, he showed tremendous potential and slowly, he has been developing into an exciting footballer over the last three seasons in the MLS and has enjoyed terrific experiences at international level – specifically his role with Honduras in the Olympic games.

“The games versus Spain and Brazil in that tournament showed the winning and strong mentality that he possesses, which will be an important asset to our squad.”

Espinoza was born in Honduras but moved to Kansas at the age of 12. He was picked up by Kansas City in 2008 and went on to play 113 games for the club, scoring two goals.

“This has been a dream for me to play in England and I am so grateful for the club who have worked so hard to make this happen,” Espinoza said.

“I just can’t wait now to join up with Maynor and all the guys and get to work.”