Last night's Capital One Cup victory over West Ham was a triumph for not just Wigan Athletic but also their forgotten man, Mauro Boselli, who notched two goals to continue his fine League Cup scoring record that now reads played six, scored four.
Boselli finds his shooting boots at last, but can he apply to the Premier League?
Boselli's second and third goals of the season - his first coming in the previous round encounter with Nottingham Forest - contributed to a pummelling of West Ham's defence, proving that the Argentinian is not ready to be written off as a flop just yet.
Wigan's manager Roberto Martinez was understandably pleased with Boselli's performance, praising the striker on his strength, sharpness and clinical finishing in a post match interview. He also then tellingly went on to say how 'it is now a matter of allowing him to settle into the Barclays Premier League.'
Having failed to impress for Wigan since his switch from Estudiantes, the words of Martinez suggest that the Spaniard is not quite ready to give up on Boselli's Premier League credentials just yet. Boselli is still without a top flight goal to his name but has taken part in less than half an hour of league action this season and last nights performance may convince Martinez that the striker is ready to step up.
Boselli joined Wigan back in 2010, with a hard earned reputation as one of the most deadly finishers in South America having scored 49 goals in just 88 games for Argentinian side Estudiantes.
His football education had began at Boca Juniors, an academy famed for producing players who would later go on to be big names, where Boselli's attitude helped him break through to the first team squad at the age of just 18. Unable to push on and establish himself as a regular though after five years at the club, Estudiantes took the gamble and introduced Boselli straight in to their lineup. A prolific record followed and the striker even found himself the Copa Libertadores' top scorer in 2009, a feat previously achieved by Luis Fabiano and more recently Brazilian wonderkid, Neymar.
Following such a successful spell in his career, international reckoning arrived as Boselli was called up to the Argentinian squad making the first of his four current international appearances. Such was the hype around the striker that Man United were even said to be interested. Alas they chose Javier Hernandez and Wigan pounced to pick up the perceived coup instead.
Progress faltered at Wigan, so the last year and a half has entertained loan spells at Genoa and former club Estudiantes respectively. Whilst Boselli's time at Genoa bared minimal goods, the return to his home land produced goals galore for the striker as he struck the back of the net with regular frequency.
Upon his return to the club to Wigan this summer, Martinez promised the striker a fair crack of the whip and a fresh start despite the fans only months previously voting Boselli the clubs worst ever foreigner. Since then as previously mentioned Boselli has struggled for game time in the league but appears to have been handed the responsibility of leading the line in the cups. Martinez' recent comments suggest that the Argentinian could now get his Premier League chance, but is he capable of producing?
At just under six foot and a fairly lightweight 72 kg, Boselli is not blessed with the physical attributes that many come to expect from a traditional number 9. In previous years all successful teams have had a 'big man' up top, a striker who possesses physical power and is able to hold off the strongest of defenders. In Boselli's previous Premier League encounters, this had proven too much and the lack of support from a team that sucked up pressure deep within their own half, would often leave him isolated.
Since his last league spell however there appears to have been a slight change in approach and clubs have adapted, as they should, to a changing game. So far this season we have already seen Jermain Defoe excel at Spurs, a striker far removed from the ideal image of a lone striker, utilising his pace and improving his hold up skills to the advantage of the team. Likewise Boselli's teammate Franco Di Santo, who despite his slight frame has found a way of handling himself much better than in previous seasons.
Boselli's time in Argentina has shown he possesses excellent movement and an ability to hit right into the corner of the goal where it is difficult for a goalkeeper to reach. He must now translate this to the Premier League if he is to succeed as a player and reach his potential. There can be no more excuses for the 27 year old.
image: © illarterate