Wigan manager Roberto Martinez compares Victor Moses to Lionel Messi and admits the club must avoid relegation to keep him

The Latics boss explained how the Nigerian-born forward plays a crucial role for his side similar to that of Charles N'Zogbia, and suggests he could merit an England call
Wigan manager Roberto Martinez admits his side must avoid relegation in order to retain the services of Victor Moses, after comparing the winger to Barcelona star Lionel Messi.

The attacker capped a fine performance in Saturday’s 2-1 victory away at Bolton as his shot was parried into the path of James McArthur to slot in the winning goal.

The forward, who signed from Crystal Palace for £2.5 million in January 2010, has featured in every one of the Latics’ 25 matches this season after taking on more responsibility in attack following the departure of Charles N’Zogbia to Aston Villa.

Roberto Martinez explained the importance of his role, telling the Guardian: "When we brought him here, we always had it in mind that Victor could fill the same role Charles had.

"He is that same rare breed as Charles, a player who can run at defenders and take the ball past them.

“His actions in one-on-ones are sensational, and when you see him in possession, you think he could easily have been born in Holland or Spain.

"You don’t see many players like that in the modern game. Charles is one, Lionel Messi another, albeit on a different scale.

“Victor is growing all the time. He is taking responsibility and learning to look up and deliver the final pass, and this is turning into the biggest season of his career.

“He plays a massive role for us and is an important asset. There have been developments in the talks over a new agreement, and I am sure we are going to be able to extend his contract."

However, the former Swansea boss stressed that, in order to hang on to Moses, the Latics must secure their Premier League status this season.

He added: “He has said he wants to stay, but the situation of the club has to be resolved first. We have to secure our top-flight status, then we can do it.”

Moses has represented England at Under-21 level but has the possibility of representing Nigeria, the country of his birth, at full international level.

But he has yet to receive a call-up from the Super Eagles and Martinez believes the speedy forward could even merit a place in the Three Lions squad.

He continued: “I know Victor can go on to the next level. He needs more Premier League games under his belt, but he has already shown he has a strong mentality.

“Time will tell, on the England front, but he is a player I love watching, one who is happy to rely on his talent to be effective. He is capable of playing for any team.”

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