ROBERTO Martinez can’t wait to unleash last week’s three new signings on the rest of the Premier League.
Shaun Maloney (from Celtic) and Patrick van Aanholt (on loan from Chelsea) arrived at the DW Stadium on transfer deadline day last Wednesday, with Albert Crusat (from Almeria) linking up 24 hours earlier.
The trio have clearly excelled in training during the week since, and now the time is almost right for them to attempt to hit the ground running on the field of play.
Of course it remains to be seen whether Maloney, van Aanholt or Crusat get the nod to feature at Manchester City on Saturday, but Martinez has seen enough to enable him to feel excited at the prospect of seeing them all in action soon.
He said: “All three of the new boys have settled in really well, but Shaun in particular doesn’t need much settling in time.
“He’s such a phenomenal footballer and straight away I realised just what a special talent he is.
“We need to offer him the right work that will help him pick up the tempo of the Premier League, but the transition from the SPL to the Premier League will come naturally to him.
“He’s such a clever footballer that he will find a way to do that.
“He got lots of experience, lots of know-how, and at 28 years of age he’s at the best moment of his career.
“He’s just about ready to explode into his next challenge, and what better challenge is there than to be successful with Wigan Athletic?
“He brings tremendous competition in that attacking role and we can’t wait to see him enjoying his football with us.
“Albert is just talking with his football at the moment.
“His English speaking will come along and he’s working hard on that, but his tactical awareness and knowledge probably allows him to communicate with any player, so that’s very positive.
“Then there’s Patrick, I just feel he’s got such a fantastic career ahead of him.
“We’re delighted to have him, and I want him to slowly settle into the team before showing exactly what he is capable of and how much he can offer to the team.
“He’ll be great for us.”
Winger Maloney arrived on a three-year deal from Celtic, Crusat - also a wide-man - penned a permanent deal, while van Aanholt joined Latics from Chelsea on a season-long loan agreement.
Meanwhile, defender Maynor Figueroa became Latics’ joint-top capped player after appearing for Honduras for a 22nd time on Tuesday night.
Figueroa played the full 90 minutes as his side went down 3-0 to Copa America runners-up Paraguay and is now one more appearance from becoming the club’s most capped player - Henri Camara.
Elsewhere on Tuesday night, Latics’ club captain Gary Caldwell helped Scotland to a 1-0 win over Lithuania at Hampden Park to keep their hopes of Euro 2012 qualification just about alive.
In Bangkok there was disappointment for Ali Al Habsi as Oman crashed to a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Thailand in their World Cup qualification match.
IT was reported elsewhere yesterday that Latics have opened discussions with youngster Victor Moses over a new five-year deal.
The Nigeria forward, 20, has just under two years to run on his existing deal, but Latics are said to not want to run the risk of letting Moses enter the final 12 months of his contract.