Saturday, 3 March 2012

Martinez Saved Sinclair's Career By Not Signing Him

Roberto Martinez reckons he saved Scott Sinclair from sinking into obscurity - by refusing to sign him for Wigan.

The Swansea wideman was offered to the Latics for a £1m fee following a loan spell at the DW Stadium in 2010.

But Martinez turned down Chelsea's proposal as he feared the 22-year-old would never thrive at Wigan.

Sinclair switched to Swansea instead and spearheaded their promotion campaign before going on to shine in the Premier League.

Martinez revealed: ``It would have been unfair to have kept him here, and it would probably have delayed his progression.

``There would have been a real risk of losing him his chance of becoming a top, top player - and we didn't want to do that.

``There are moments as a player when you have to play, you have to make mistakes and you have to experiment.

``We couldn't give him that here, and going into the Championship was exactly what he needed.

``He'd already had a couple of loan periods that weren't as successful as they perhaps could have been, before he got the chance to come to Premier League with us.

``That was probably because he'd made the big leap from Bristol Rovers to Chelsea, and that was too big a gap in his development.

``But I always knew Scott had it in him to become a top, top player - and he is still developing.''

Sinclair made 18 appearances during his year at Wigan but Martinez admits their struggle against relegation made it difficult for the youngster to get a run in the side.

He added: ``When he arrived at Wigan, we were probably in a position where we couldn't give him the 10-15 games he needed to finish his development.

``It came after a spell at Birmingham when he didn't play enough games, and you always thought that he was missing 46 games in the Championship and being an important player week in, week out.

``He did that at the right club in Swansea, playing in a 4-3-3 in a system which relies on wingers and great possession, and I think that was exactly what Scotty needed.

``There was never any doubt about his quality as a player or his attitude - he was always the last man out there training when the rest had come in.

``But I always felt he was one season away from fulfilling his potential, and I think we have seen that borne out.

``Even now, I feel he has another level to go. He is incredibly fast with the ball, can finish with right or left foot, is good in one-v-ones and is developing a better tactical knowledge.''

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