English Premier League

Espinoza confirmed for Wigan

Friday 4th January 2013 13:55

Roger Espinoza: Honduras midfielder in action for Sporting Kansas City

Roger Espinoza: Honduras midfielder in action for Sporting Kansas City

Wigan have completed the signing of Honduras midfielder Roger Espinoza on a two-and-a-half-year contract.

The 26-year-old received his visa on Thursday and will go straight into the squad for Saturday's FA Cup tie against Bournemouth after flying into England.

Espinoza has moved to the DW Stadium after four years with Sporting Kansas City in the MLS.

Latics have been on Espinoza's trail since his outstanding performances for Honduras during the Olympic tournament last summer.

And now Roberto Martinez has finally got his man, the 26-year-old midfielder is eager to get going.

"It's taken a while to get all the paperwork done but now I can concentrate on fighting for my place," said Espinoza.

"I just want to say a big thank you to everyone at the club who have been working so hard to get everything through in time - and for the manager to have the belief in me.

"Now it's down to business."

Espinoza's last appearance on English soil looks to be a microcosm of what Wigan fans can expect from the player, who moved to the USA when he was 12.

In the Olympic quarter-final against Brazil at St James' Park, Espinoza earned a standing ovation for his tigerish display and scored a brilliant goal only to get himself sent off near the end of an agonising 3-2 defeat.

Espinoza collected yellow cards in his other two Olympic appearances, adding to the five he got in the MLS last term, in addition to one red card, so evidently the midfielder is not afraid to tackle and - suspensions permitting - should bring some steel to the Latics midfield.

"He is an excellent talent and every time we have seen him play he has shown the desire that we like to see from our players," said Martinez.

"The Olympics in the summer gave a great example of just what he can do on the pitch, especially in his performances against Spain and Brazil."

The problem for Martinez though is that Espinoza will have just 24 hours with his new team-mates before being plunged into the English game.

"Usually players would have more time preparing for their debut and getting used to their new team-mates, but Roger is so desperate to play as soon as he can," he said.

Espinoza becomes the fourth Honduran international to play for Wigan as he follows in the footsteps of Wilson Palacios and Hendry Thomas and joins his close friend Maynor Figueroa in the current squad.

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