"He is our Messi" claimed Roberto Martinez once, in reference to Hugo Rodallega, the Colombian striker, emphasizing the vitality of the player in his Wigan squad. Clearly the impact that the physically strong ,1.8m man has had on Wigan Athletic has been enormous with Rodallega scoring almost 20 goals for the club in his 18 months with the Latics.Infact, Wigan Athletic have also profited a lot with a highly increased fan base now in Colombia, where Hugo is considered to be a darling.
It has been that very scoring prowess that has attracted interests of a few top sides in England including Arsenal. Considering the fact that Arsene Wenger, the Arsenal manager has been a renowned talent hunter, the interest clearly confirms a lot of potential in the player.
Recently however, the much beleaguered Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson was spotted along with the newly appointed Director of Football Strategy,Damien Comolli at the DW Stadium when Wigan took on Newcastle. With rumored Liverpool target, Charles N'Zogbia already ruled out of the match due to a red card offence, rumors are rife as to whether the Liverpool gaffer is now having an eye on the hot property from Wigan.
The Latics although precariously close to the relegation spots, know that it would not be the first time they are going to lose key players should a reasonable bid be made available to them. They have pretty much been a player-factory for the premier league with players ranging from Lee Cattermole to Luis Valencia and a host of other players whom they have had to sell to bigger clubs.
Liverpool fans on the other hand may not be very pleased to see the club going for talents from yet another average club which lies lowly. The Reds may sadly recall Rodallega's most recent equalizer against the Reds at the DW stadium, just days after the Reds flattened Chelsea at home.This after the Latics star managed to shock the Reds only a few months back with a winning goal against them.
However, it easy to see that just like his team mate Charles N'Zogbia, Hugo Rodallega looks to be a very bright prospect and doesn't really fit into a team in the long-run which would pride itself staving off relegation! (Incidentally, even though it appears funny , Wigan are currently the only club in the Premier League which has never got relegation!!)
Rodallega has also times and again made the headlines with some fantastic finishing against top oppositions like the Spurs etc.. The Colombian hitman is also very flexible and also has the ability to play down the right wing in an attacking role.
Added to the foresaid, Liverpool also have in Rodallega, a player who is importantly not cup-tied and would be available for the Europas as well, a characteristics which is tough to find in good strikers in January,after the European competitions have already proceeded half way through!
Liverpool however are under a lot of turmoil, not just on the pitch but off it too, with the fans wanting the Roy Hodgson sacked and some reports claiming that the Reds new owners FSG are actively searching for a better fit for the managerial post at Anfield. On the pitch too, Liverpool have been far from consistent,whats worse is that when they played badly, most of the key players rarely looked interested!
Liverpool clearly needs some players who are not only good players but then are also equally hungry to do more for both themselves and the ailing club. It is this criteria that Hugo Rodallega will fit in perfectly if bought. Also the player is barely 25 years old and thus should also be a reasonably medium term project for the club.
Wigan's concerns over Premier League status however may result in Wigan slapping a huge price tag on their key assets and thus prohibiting the process in their own way,much like what Sunderland did for Kenywene Jones last January transfer window.
With all the pressure on Roy Hodgson creeping up and as Liverpool head towards an extremely busy and critical schedule ahead, Liverpool's attack need bolstering as soon as possible and although Rodallega didn't do anything brilliant in his outing against the Magpies, a bid for one of Latics prime assets at the moment, cannot be ruled out for sure, provided better options prefer not to budge from their present club and the owners provide adequate money to facilitate the transfer.
Now that the transfer window is already open, Liverpool and Roy Hodgson both look forward to what could be one of their most important winter windows of recent times and with a striker's arrival due long time, the Rodallega option sure makes for a plausible transfer story as of now!