Monday, 7 May 2012

Franco Di Santo Ready To Condemn Blackburn To Drop

Franco Di Santo
WIGAN striker Franco Di Santo has no qualms about condemning old club Blackburn to the Championship.

The Argentine striker spent a year on loan with Rovers in 2009 before joining the Latics for £2m from Chelsea.

And he could kill of their hopes of Premier League survival by continuing his recent run of goal scoring form at Ewood Park tonight.

But his boss Roberto Martinez insists the 23-year-old is concentrating on keeping his own top flight status rather than feeling sorry for Blackburn.

He said: “It’s not about sending anyone down. It’s about how he would feel about achieving Premier League status for Wigan because we’re fighting for our lives.”

Di Santo has come good for Martinez at the perfect time, scoring in the wins over Arsenal and Newcastle having gone 17 games without a goal.

And the Spanish manager believes that’s because his striker is finally growing up.

He was snatched from club side Audax Italiano as a kid by Chelsea in a £3m deal and dispatched to Rovers on loan before finding a home at the DW Stadium.

Martinez said: “I think it’s just the age that has made him click.

“Remember, he’s a very young man. He had a great experience in Chile at 16 and then he came to a massive club in the shape of Chelsea.

“Straight away he played Champions League football and in a team fighting to win the title.

“As a player he probably needed different experiences to try and develop as an individual because he was in a group winning things.

“So the real difference this season is that he has found himself and found what he has to do to help the team and for him to be effective.

“It’s down to his attitude and his willingness to learn because he’s still a very young man.

“At his age you are still at the start of your career. But if you’ve seen the way he’s been performing since February, we’re seeing a player who is starting to fulfil his potential.

“He’s strong, powerful and can cover large distances, his first-touch is as good as you will see and he’s a clinical finisher.”

Di Santo managed just a single goal during his one season on loan at Blackburn but that was not enough to put Martinez off signing him.

And Martinez added: “Sometimes you go to a club on loan thinking you’re just spending a bit of time there to go back to your parent club.

“As a player going out on loan, it’s very difficult to be fully focused on what you’re doing because there’s always that thought ‘where am I going to be next season’ and ‘what’s the next step’ and ‘am I going to go back to my club’.

“The experience at Blackburn was good for him at that age.

“But it’s been important to him to be a Wigan player and fight for his place and fight to improve.”

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