For those of us growing impatient waiting on developments over the signing of Hulk, the news that broke this week about having a bid rejected from Wigan for Victor Moses, threw a bit of a spanner in the works. My initial thoughts were, and remain, very similar to those regarding the purchase of a young right back – in that Moses could be a useful signing and on paper would obviously make the squad stronger, yet he is evidently not needed by the club and a move this summer could potentially be detrimental to both his career as well as those of the other young forwards in the team.
First of all I should point out that I don’ think for a second this alleged bid is a reaction to missing out on Hulk. If the club is prepared to spend £30/35m+ on a Brazilian international RWF, then it’s obviously a position they feel needs specific attention in this window. To go straight from the money we’re rumoured to be offering Porto for Hulk, to less than £10m for Victor Moses is a completely implausible moderation of ambition on our part. To seriously consider Moses as an alternative to Hulk is to suggest our scouting system couldn’t identify a target of a quality in-between the two, which obviously couldn’t be the case. (Given I, and probably 99% of people who read this, could list half a dozen names right off the top of their head)
So with that in mind, what could Moses’ role in the team possibly be next season if we were to sign him? The recent signings of Marko Marin and Eden Hazard and the still probable signing of Hulk, means we won’t be short of quality on the flanks. Even in the event of those players being unavailable we still have Mata, Ramires, Malouda and Sturridge who could all play out wide and will almost certainly all be placed higher on the pecking order. Also, considering him as a prospect for the future, does he represent a better risk than the ones we have already taken on Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku? It might sound a bit counter-intuitive, but to have an excess of top young players all on the fringes of the first team could end up being a bad thing for the club, as they all limit each other’s opportunities and as a result, none of them develop into the world-class talents they could be.
Signing Victor Moses might just result in a harmful overpopulation of our exceptional pool of attacking players, aged 18-22 – which is something we obviously don’t want to see happen.
Even if we ignore the impact his signing would have on the team, just judging him as an individual I would still have reservations about this move. Having spoken to some Wigan supporters, consensus in Greater Manchester is that Moses is like an exaggeration of Daniel Sturridge, in that he can so easily do things which make the draw drop and yet still so frequently can infuriate with his final ball and decision making in the final third. Remember also, Daniel Sturridge scored something like 8 goals with his first 12 shots on target last year, whilst Moses apparently had almost 50 shots on goal before he finally found the net. To summarise Victor Moses is: a less-clinical, more temperamental, less experienced and only a year younger version of Daniel Sturridge. On paper does that sound like the sort of target we should be pursuing?
Scouring the press for views on the matter, the only one’s you’ll come across really are those of Dave Whelan, the Wigan Chairman. I don’t much like Whelan; he seems to have a habit of forcing his views and making comments where they aren’t really appropriate or wanted – his demanding of certain punishments of West Ham over their illegitimate signings of Tevez and Mascherano in 2006 being a prime example. I don’t feel his constant weighing in on the Roberto Martinez to Liverpool saga helped either party at all during those negotiations also.
These are some quotes of Whelan’s from The Daily Mirror:
“We took this lad as a teenager, and everything he has he owes to Roberto Martinez and Wigan Athletic”.
“Roberto has coached him and coached him, he’s helped him through games, and he’s played him and not played him at exactly the right time.
“He’s looked after him in every single day in training, making sure he does the right things. But these lads are being told one thing now, time and time again: listen to your agent, not the manager.
“If he gets the move to Chelsea, will he get to play in the first team every week?
“What he needs at present is experience and guidance. He’s had nothing but that from Roberto over the years, and how the lad can even consider he won’t sign an extension, after what we’ve done for him, just frustrates you.
“It makes you wonder whether it’s all worth it.”
Even though I agree with what he’s saying, I again really didn’t see the need for these comments to be made. It reads as if he is deliberately trying to guilt Victor Moses into staying, by effectively labelling him as greedy, ungrateful and brainwashed by his agent if he decides to leave Wigan this summer.
Personally if I was Victor Moses, I wouldn’t know what to do. I wouldn’t feel a move to Chelsea, to compete for a spot on the bench would be sensible during these crucial developmental years and I would certainly feel a sense of obligation to Roberto Martinez, for all his support and teaching the past few years. However, the thought of playing for a chairman that will openly and publically lambast a decision I make with my own ambitions and career in mind, wouldn’t be really appealing either.
Is it just me, or does no good seem to be coming from this link at all? At this stage I hope it dies down for the good of both clubs and the player. What do you all think? Would Moses be a good signing and what capacity should/could he be used in?