Vital Latics Top 50 - Antonio Valencia
Vital Wigan members and posters have produced a Latics Top 50 Footballers list and there are some great players on that list and their names really do conjure up some fantastic memories. The members of Vital Latics have also created some very unique pen-pictures of their hero's, these are being published in no particular order:
Antonio Valencia was signed by ex-Latics manager Paul Jewell in the summer of 2006, originally on a year-long loan from Villarreal. His first goal for the club game in a 4-0 victory over Manchester City, a feat which would be exceptional in today's football world.
Despite ending his season with one goal one assist and one red card, his loan deal was extended for another season. During this season Chris Hutchings made way for Steve Bruce, who signed him permanently at the first opportunity in January 2008 for around £5 million.
His low appearance to goal ratio did not affect his sensational performances throughout his time at Wigan. He is arguably one of the only Wigan players to be able to go past a player in the premier league and produce an end product. Every game he would go past countless players with ease with clubs forcing to use more than one man to mark him.
This attracted the attention of many big clubs, and Valencia turned down a move to Real Madrid in January 2009. Many fans were resigned to losing Valencia in the following summer so his final game against Portsmouth was emotional; he once again produced the same consistent display that he showed throughout his time at the DW stadium.
For me personally Valencia was the best player to ever wear the Latics shirt, certainly in my short lifetime. He is now enjoying a great career at one of England's finest club in Manchester United. But still has a soft spot for the club that introduced him to English football, seen recently wearing a Latics shirt once again in a Wilson Palacios academy opening game.
Latics and Proud
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