Writer: Andy Jackson
Date:Monday April 20 2009
ANOTHER NAME IN THE TRANSFER HAT - KRIS BOYD LOOKS TO BE HEADING FOR THE NORTH WEST
The late season rumour rumblings are beginning to pick up speed, with Wigan Athletic amongst a host of clubs already being linked with a host of global stars. Kuranyi from Schalke in Germany and Benitez from the obscurities of Santos Laguna in Mexico - just a few of the names linked with the European hopefuls over past weeks.
But, as the season reaches its climax, and the Latics prepare to face a battling Rovers side on Sky on Sunday, a new centre forward appears to be heading to the soon-to-be DW Stadium. The name Kris Boyd has a far less Latin spin to it, but the Scottish front man could be switching clubs when the season comes to an end.
Wigan Athletic have long had more than a subtle link with our kilt attired associates, with a string of signings as well as once making a fraught attempt for league status with an application to the Scottish football league in 1972.
Lee McCulloch was the last Scotsman to make a name for himself in Wigan`s colours, and the next arrival could be heading from the former number 10`s current residence. The Ibrox goal machine portrays the same sturdy look of his compatriot, and at just 25, Kris Boyd still has time to make his name within the most prestigious of world leagues.
Boyd has spearheaded the Rangers attack ever since he joined from Kilmarnock in 2006. He is currently the second highest scorer in the Scottish Premier League.
This may encourage the usual bittersweet retort similar to that when someone mentions the term 'Scottish international`, but the striker has a proud record, and carries many of the characteristics in style that are so vital to Premier League centre forwards. Tall, strong in the air and with great positioning and movement in the final third, Boyd is a natural anywhere near the six yard box.
76 goals in 106 games is a more than credible record in any league, and the striker certainly won`t lack the strength nor the physical presence which is so instrumental to Premier League front play. His goal ratio stretches onto the international stage too, which weighs heavily against those dismissing his record due to a weak Scottish Premier League.
Despite 7 goals in 15 international games however, Scotland manager, George Burley controversially failed to select him for the national side on a number of occasions, and the striker revealed his refusal to play under the foreseeable regime in October 2008.
His work rate and attitude have been crisitised in his Rangers career, mainly when Celtic have been on top of the traditional Scottish club duopoly.
It is sometimes cited as the main reason for which no team has yet gambled on his signature, at least until Championship club Birmingham approached him in January. However, on form, the striker has proved himself a top target man and clinical with both head and feet in front of goal.
Steve Bruce is a well known admirer of a physical target man as the crux of his attack, and Boyd would certainly fall into this category.
In addition, the Rangers man would potentially offer the goal scoring touch which has been so deficient from Latics current campaign. A bad attitude may have been an issue in the Scotsman`s career, both at club and international level, but Bruce has plenty of experience dealing some of the most questionable characters in football.
Charles N`Zogbia and Mido hold dubious records which Joe Kinnear pointed out could keep coaches up all night, though they do now appear to have taken well to life at the JJB.
With the right management, Kris Boyd could prove a fantastic acquisition for a Premier League club, and at the moment, Wigan stand at the very front of the queue.
It is key to note though, with a £3.5m transfer to Birmingham collapsing over wage demands, the move may be put into question under Whelan and the club`s stringent remuneration policy.
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Date:Monday April 20 2009
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