Gus Poyet is convinced that Santiago Vergini will be a big success in English football, but has called for patience whilst highlighting the difficulties faced by players who make the move from South American football.
The former Newell's Old Boys defender will get his first Premier League start tonight when he deputises for the suspended Wes Brown, but Poyet isn't worried. He told reporters:
I have no worries about it. I watched Vergini a lot before he came here, so I know what he can do.
I thought Santiago did well in testing circumstances [against Hull].
He is still learning the language and the English game but I was very happy with how he performed, it was more than OK.
There was one moment, at the very beginning where Nikica Jelavic knocked him about five yards off the ball - in Argentina, that’s a foul; in England: nothing.
But he learned from that, thought: "OK welcome to England, Santiago" and he got on with it.
One of the things I like about him is that he is an adaptable player and he will be looking forward to the job he faces tonight.
It's an interesting point he makes because at the moment it looks like the South American market is one that the club and Poyet specifically is keen to use. As well as Vergini, Poyet has already brought Argentinians Oscar Ustari and Nacho Scocco to the club, and the summer pursuit of Gina Peruzzi was very well documented.
I always think back to Fabricio Coloccini up the road. In his first season in England he was absolutely hopeless, and that was despite dotting himself around La Liga for years after leaving Argentina. Yet no one could question (annoyingly) that he has become an extremely good Premier League centre back.
Patience is definitely required and, unlike Steve Bruce, you get the feeling that Poyet does actually have some genuine expert knowledge of this market. It's reassuring at least that Vergini is actually being used for the first team and not given a chance to adapt and not just being Cristian Riveros'd.