FRANCO di Santo is capable of shooting Wigan Athletic to safety, according to Roberto Martinez.
The Argentine striker has taken time to find his feet since arriving from Chelsea in the summer of 2010. But his superb line-leading display in the 2-1 win at Bolton was proof of his undoubted ability.
And the Wigan boss says the sky’s the limit if Di Santo lives up to his potential – even as far as international honours alongside Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero.
“We all know the potential Franco has as a player, but he has only shown flashes of the real quality I know he possesses,” Martinez told the Evening Post.
“He’s still a young man, but he’s clearly ready to take on more responsibility.
“Probably the biggest challenge for Franco is to show that kind of performance on a regular basis in the Premier League.
“If he can do that, his football – and that of the team – will go on to a different level. He will develop into some player.
“And I’m not just talking about club level. I’m talking about the international level. And that’s a fantastic target to have.”
Latics could certainly do with Di Santo ending the season with a bang, having mustered a league-low 23 goals from their 25 games.
Martinez, though, insists they’ve turned a corner in recent weeks.
“We haven’t been able to score enough goals this season – that’s been our problem,” he added.
“However, I do feel now that we have started to create a lot more chances.
“We’re creating numerous chances per game, and we’re now at least in a position where you can see the goals are coming.
“Look at some of the games before Christmas – for example against Fulham when we were the best team by a mile yet lost 2-0.
“Now we have turned the corner, I feel we are getting more and more bodies forward, and I feel it’s just a matter of time before we get the rewards we deserve.”