Roberto Martinez’ first outfield signing of the January transfer window welcomes Ivory Coast defender Steve Gohouri to Wigan Athletic.

Latics’ new signing Steve Gohouri has been on trial with us since he left Borussia Monchengladbach at the beginning of December, he impressed enough to give a contract until the end of the season. The big question though is whether this is paving the way for Figueroa to fulfil Steve Bruce’s dream of landing his man for Sunderland.

Gohouri has scored three goals in two International appearances for his country and after missing out on the chance to help his countrymen out in the African Cup of Nations he is hoping to land a first team place to help him in his quest to make the World Cup in the summer.

Steve Gohouri explained how delighted he is to have joined the club, and excited about the prospect of playing in the Barclays Premier League: “I’m really happy to have joined because it give me the chance to show what I’m capable of in the Premier League,” said Gohouri.

“I can play anywhere across the defence but I’m most comfortable playing at centre-half, that’s my preferred position. I wouldn’t want to say what type of defender I am but I’m sure people will get to see what my qualities are on the pitch. My new team-mates have been very welcoming and I’m looking forward to training and playing alongside them.

“The manager has told me to simply enjoy my football, work hard and concentrate on the tasks ahead. I’m sure there will be plenty of challenges ahead but I’m ready to take them on. It’s a big challenge for me overall coming to the Premier League, but as a footballer I’ve always wanted to play in this country. All the strikers in the league are big players and every week will be a new test and I’m looking forward to that.

“There are big differences between the Premier League and the Bundesliga, notably the intensity. In England that level is much higher and there are many more one-on-one incidents during the game, so I know it will be very hard but I’m here now and I’ll have to work hard and challenge for a place in the team.”

Roberto’s view on the player is: “We are delighted to welcome Steve to Wigan Athletic from the German Bundesliga. He’s a powerful defender with plenty of pace and we all hope that he’s going to reach match-fitness really soon, because he’s not had that recently.

“As a player he’s going to give us a different outlook and he’ll be a great asset to have in the squad. He’s got great experience, international pedigree and is desperate to get into the Ivory Coast squad for this summer’s World Cup.

“So it’s important for him to have a successful second-half of the season with Wigan Athletic and he brings different strengths to our back-line which will be important for the rest of the campaign. The Bundesliga and the Premier League are completely different in many aspects but also similar in other areas. Steve is an out-and-out defender, has great awareness, strength and is good in the air, qualities he’s enhanced whilst in Germany.

“You can see he has a huge desire to be successful here at Wigan Athletic and that’s very important for us.”

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