Martinez hails "phenomenal" Traore - but his January shopping done?

Paul Thomas

Roberto Martinez has expressed his delight at the loan signing of Lacina Traore but says he is unlikely to play for a few weeks as he is not yet fully fit.

The Ivory Coast international signed on-loan from Monaco on Friday and Martinez believes he could be quite a coup for the club and has a massive role to play in the final few weeks of the season.

The boss also admitted that Traore is still recovering from a hamstring strain and hasn't played competitively since October, so is a "matter of weeks" away from pulling on the royal blue shirt.

One interesting line from the Spaniard was the need for Traore to return to a "friendly" club like ours. The whole Anzhi experiment was strange to begin with and it must have been hard for Traore over the past six months, with the club selling all of their best players and slumping to the bottom of the league.

Maybe this fresh start is what the player needs in order to fulfil his potential. We certainly hope so.

Anyway here's what the gaffer had to say:

He's someone with real pace, obviously his height always attracts the eye and attention, but he has great co-ordination and that allows him to use that height to have real good speed.

His movement is very, very good and technically he is as a good a player as you are going to see with that height.

So he brings something completey different, he can play in different positions, he can play as the number 9 or just behind the striker, that will give us real good options in an area are where, due to the injury to Arouna Kone, we are a little bit weak

He is an exciting footballer, that we need to nurture and help him come into this sort of league and make sure he is well looked after.

I'm sure that’s exactly what he needs coming back into a football club like ours, with that friendly nature we will allow him to be himself and settle in well and quickly and allow him to enjoy his football and if he does that he will be a phenomenal signing for us.

So when are we likely to see him in action? Not at Anfield on Tuesday it seems...

He’s on the back of a soft tissue injury that he had and we have to make sure that’s fully healed before we can put him into the demands the Premier League, but we're talking a matter of weeks. Lacina's role will be probably for the last 9-10 games of the season that’s where I see his role being influential for us.

At the moment its important that he gets to know the players, get to know how we play and I'm going to use that period while he isn't fully fit to get all the concepts and get everything ready and then in the final ten games of the competition I expect Lacina to be ready to have a massive impact in our group.

But is Traore the last player to sign on in this transfer window?

It is the last arrival as Aiden McGeady and Lacina Traore were always the priority and I'm delighted to get those two players.

Its always difficult to get your two main priorities in any shopping list especially in January so were delighted with the additions we have made and the strength we are going to have once the window closes.

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