Argentine striker Franco Di Santo arrived in the January window of the 2007/08 season with high expectations. At just 18 years old, Di Santo had the likes of Liverpool and reigning champions Manchester United interested in signing him. Chelsea secured him ahead of their Premier League rivals, but success never eventuated.
Making his senior debut in the Chilean Primera División with Audax Italiano aged 16, much was expected of Di Santo. In his first season, Di Santo had scored seven goals in 27 appearances, most of which were off the bench. His second season saw him play significantly more minutes, but again he scored seven goals.
14 goals in 61 appearances is hardly prolific, but nevertheless the big clubs were circling.
Di Santo arrived in the middle of the 2007/08 Premier League season and was set to finish the season in the reserve side. Playing in the final eight matches of the season, Di Santo again scored seven goals.
The strong finish to the reserves season saw Di Santo given the #9 kit and elevated into the senior squad. With Didier Drogba, Nicolas Anelka and Salomon Kalou ahead of him on the team sheet, Di Santo was never bound for too many starts in the 2008/09 season.
However, throughout the season Di Santo never progressed from being a substitute. By the end of the season, he had eight league appearances and eight cup appearances all off the bench. 16 appearances, for no goals.
What happened after?
After a super lean first season at Wigan, again only managing the one goal in the league campaign, Di Santo found a bit of a rhythm. The next two seasons at Wigan saw him feature on the score sheet more regularly. His seven goals in 2011/12 made him the club’s top scorer, before scoring five in the 2012/13 season in which Wigan were relegated.