West Ham manager Sam Allardyce believes he failed with a summer swoop for Wigan defender Ivan Ramis because he is not Spanish.
The 28-year-old signed joined the Latics from Mallorca during the transfer window and the Hammers boss feels Roberto Martinez’s similar nationality was a deciding factor for the full-back when deciding on the next step in his career.
Ramis opened the scoring against Allardyce’s West Ham on Saturday with a fine left-footed volley to set the Latics on their way to a 2-1 victory.
“We did go in for him, yeah.” he told Sky Sports. “Roberto [Martinez] tipped us because he's Spanish and I'm not.
“It's two he's scored against us now. He scored in the Capital One Cup a few weeks ago and he ran one in with his left foot.
“This one was even better than that one because there was a foul on Reidy [Winston Reid] but the referee wasn't looking as the ball came in from the corner.
“Ramis just cleverly runs into Reidy, pushes him away, which gives him that little bit of room and then you have to say with the technique, you would be revelling about it if it was Van Persie, wouldn't you?”
Meanwhile, Martinez, while revealing that a of number of clubs were interested in signing Ramis during the transfer window, refused to comment on whether his nationality was a factor in the full-back’s move to the DW Stadium.
“He came at the best moment of his career and you can see his leadership skills are getting stronger and we were very, very pleased when we signed him.” Martinez stated.
“As you can imagine, he was captain of Mallorca for a few seasons, he's someone that attracted the attention of many teams and we were pleased that he chose to come to Wigan.
“We had to make a massive effort or the chairman had to make an extra effort but he's the type of player that you want to try to improve every season.
“We are really looking forward to seeing him at his full potential because he is a tremendous defender.”
Martinez also revealed his delight at Ramis’ goal and jokingly proposed more regular meetings between the two sides.
“He already scored against West Ham.” Martinez added. “We will probably have to play against them more often!
“It was as clean a contact as you're going to see. It was a quality strike, a striker's type of a strike.
“I don't think we're that prolific as a team of scoring set-plays but that was as good as a set play as you're going to see so very pleased for that but even happier for Ramis' performance.
“What he did off the ball, the way he was talking with the others, I think he is developing his communication skills quite quickly and he is a real leader. It was a very good performance.”