It’s being reported once again in this morning’s press that former Latics gaffer Steve Bruce wants Maynor Figueroa to follow him to Sunderland. The whole thing is certainly no secret, as Bruce has been trying to nab the Honduran for a good few months; since he left for the Black Cats, in fact.
Bruce, who first brought Figueroa to the Wigan in December 2008, has already captured former Latics man Lee Cattermole and wants to boost his defensive credentials ahead of what he hopes will be a European-challenging 2009/10 campaign. Sunderland currently lie eighth in the table, two points behind an ailing Liverpool and just four points away from a European cup spot.
Fans of both Wigan and Sunderland will no doubt remember Bruce’s protracted battle for Cattermole, who eventually left Latics for a fee in the region of £8million, only to be injured in just his eighth competitive game for the Black Cats. Many claimed the ‘curse of Wigan’ had struck once again, but in truth, this type of injury is always on the cards with a player such as Catts.
Figueroa faces up to another four weeks on the sidelines after sustaining a serious knee injury during Latics’ 3-1 win over Burnley last month, but is expected to recover in time for the January transfer window. Figures in the region of five or six million are being touted, though you can expect Dave Whelan to scrap for every extra penny.
Meanwhile, former Manchester City and Everton defender Michael Ball has joined up to train with the Latics squad with a view to a permanent deal at the club. His position? Left back. Coincidence? Who knows, but if Fig Roller wants to leave, then I doubt there is anyone at the club who could, or even should, stop him.
A frustration, no doubt, but at least we’ve got good old Erik Edman to step into the breach until further notice. Injuries have dogged his time at the club, but who knows, maybe the Swedish International could reclaim the left back position as his own once more.
Image of Steve Bruce is in the public domain.