Writer: Barry Worthington
Date:Thursday July 2 2009
Almost a year to the day since he was originally due to sign for Wigan Athletic Honduras international midfield man Hendry Thomas finally arrived at the Latics and though not signed on the dotted line, he is as good as in.
Thomas` late arrival is due to the success of the Honduras Olympic side, during their qualification for the Beijing Olympics last summer the combative midfield man captained the team to the detriment of gaining caps for the national side and as a result he didn`t meet stringent requirements needed to gain a UK work permit.
A year later and with Thomas playing in the full quota of his country`s World Cup 2010 qualifying matches the work permit should not be an issue this time round but there is believed to be interest from other clubs including Sunderland managed by former boss Steve Bruce who had set the original deal up.
Latics boss Roberto Martinez is understood to want to get the Thomas deal done as soon as possible, the fee with his club side Deportivo Olimpia is already agreed as are personal terms, a medical is due today and further talks, hopefully things can be tied up before Steve Bruce tries to turn his head.
With Honduran Maynor Figueroa and previously Wilson Palacios having played for the Latics Hendry Thomas at least knows a little about the club and only last week in an interview reported here on Vital Latics Thomas said: 'Wigan is the priority, because they have been interested from the start.'
'They (Palacios and Figueroa) have advised me a lot. Wilson was the one who opened the door for me in England and Maynor has also strengthened the national reputation. Both have told me that I would love to play there, because we enjoyed beautiful moments in Olimpia together and would enjoy many more in England.'
Thomas also says that working with Roberto Martinez who shares the same native language will make the transition easier, he continued: ' I've been waiting so long to go abroad and with Wigan for the first time it was under Steve Bruce and one disadvantage was the language issue. But now I will not have the difficulty that Wilson and Maynor had when they first went to England. I will not have problems with this part.'
On the possibility of joining another club especially Sunderland Thomas says: 'I don`t know of anything concrete on those links. I think it is because of Steve Bruce because he was the one interested in me at Wigan, but that will not happen.'
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Date:Thursday July 2 2009
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