Wigan boss Roberto Martinez reckons Arouna Kone will be a Premier League hit

Roberto Martinez: Pleased with striker Kone

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Wigan boss Roberto Martinez is confident striker Arouna Kone can establish himself as a top player in the Premier League.

Martinez has been a long-time admirer of the Ivory Coast international, who played with Roda, PSV Eindhoven and Sevilla prior to his arrival at the DW Stadium.

Speaking ahead of Saturday's match with West Brom, Martinez enthused about the 28-year-old's strength and technical ability.

"Arouna is someone we followed for a long, long time. He first had a real impact in Holland, moved to Sevilla but had a very difficult time there with injury," Martinez said.

"I have always been a massive fan and I tried to sign him before but we ran into problems with a work permit.

"He's powerful and strong and that allows him to cope with the physicality of the league but he's a technical player within that. He relies on his build-up play and he is a real, real finisher."

Meanwhile, Martinez has praised West Brom counterpart Steve Clarke, who has enjoyed an excellent start to life as a manager in his own right.

He said: "Steve Clarke has brought a new approach and been really successful.

"I think he knows the British game really well and has developed his own method out of his experiences with some of the best managers in the world - Mourinho, Kenny Dalglish, his experience at Newcastle.

"But what he's bringing into the game is not what he's getting from someone else but something he has developed himself.

"Steve Clarke has very strong values about the game in Britain and has developed very good man-management skills, always calm, always relaxed, always thoughtful.

"West Brom are now the in-form team in the Premier League in my eyes, they are fifth in the table and they have dropped a few points with conceding a 91st-minute goal against Man City and against Villa, both games where they deserved more than that.

"They are very well-balanced, and have kept the same group of players together for a long time."