The Wigan manager Roberto Martinez has said that he believes that the striker Franco di Santo has finally matured as a footballer. The Argentine arrived in English football as an 18-year-old striker and Chelsea had paid around £ 3.5 million to secure his services many years ago. However, he never managed to establish himself at Stamford Bridge. This led to a succession of loan spells at different clubs including Blackburn Rovers, but he finally managed to secure a permanent move to Wigan recently. The £ 2 million move to Wigan just under three years ago has transformed the player according to the Wigan manager.

The 23-year-old has come a long way since being a reserve team player at Stamford Bridge, as he recently made his debut for the Argentine national team. Many were surprised when Martinez claimed more than a year ago that di Santo is capable of playing for Argentina. However, the manager is not surprised that he made such a comment because he knew that di Santo will come of age eventually. Martinez feels that the striker has definitely learnt that he had to get out of Chelsea in order to progress in his career. The regular game time at the DW stadium has been one of the main reasons for this development according to Martinez.

“He’s two different players. The one he was at Chelsea, a young man full of dreams. Now he is a man living his dream. When he arrived at Chelsea, he was a young man with the world at his feet and he had to grow up quickly. In football, you need to play games to do that. I think Franco’s experience at Chelsea has made him the man he is now. Now he’s a completely different footballer, after the experiences he had with Blackburn and ourselves,” said Martinez.