So who is Arouna Kone?
1. Arouna started his career with hometown club Rio Sport in Anyama, Ivory Coast making his senior debut aged 17 before going on to have a prolific first season with the club. Current Arsenal forward Gervinho also hails from Anyama.
2. He made his dream move to mainland Europe aged just 18, signing professional forms at Belgian side Lierse finishing as top scorer in a 5th placed finish, his impressive performances earned him a move to the Eredivisie with Dutch side Roda JC.
3. Success followed with a goal laden 2 year stint in Kerkrade before moving to Dutch giants PSV Eindhoven in the summer of 2005.
4. His career in Holland continued to blossom and Arouna had an impressive start to his PSV career alerting the interest of Spanish club and then current UEFA Cup holders Sevilla who signed him in August of 2007.
5. However Kone struggled in Spain, finding himself behind Fredi Kanoute, Luis Fabiano and Alexander Kerzhakov in the first team and suffering from malaria and a series of cruciate knee injuries during his spell in Andalucia and after a loan deal at Hannover 96 he signed on loan for Levante at the start of last season.
6. The Valencian side were tipped for relegation but stunned Spanish football with an incredible season finishing 6th in La Liga and qualifying for the Europa League. Kone was pivotal in their success scoring 15 goals in just over 30 appearances. Despite only signing a permanent deal at Levante last month he has quickly moved on to the Premier League.
7. He has been regularly linked with a move to England throughout his career with the likes of Tottenham, Sunderland, Aston Villa, Reading, Birmingham City, Wolves, Hull City, Burnley and Middlesbrough all previously making approaches for the 28 year old but Wigan have finally brought him to the Premier League.
8. He is well known for his trademark peroxide blonde hair and for wearing the number 2 shirt as a striker, a tradition he will most likely continue at the DW as the number is currently vacant.
9. His older brother Bakari is also a successful footballer currently playing for Qatar SC after successful stints in France at Lorient, Nice and Marseilles and has 41 caps for the Ivorian national side scoring 9 goals.
10. A regular in the Ivory Coast national team since his debut against Tunisia in 2004 he has gone on to collect 35 caps scoring 9 goals. He went with The Elephants to the 2006 World Cup where he played in all 3 games before exiting at the group stages but in recent years he has not been considered as regularly for his national team which will please Lactic fans with the African Nations being played once again this season.
With his pace, direct approach to goal and aerial threat Arouna is well suited to the needs of the Premier League and will hope to join a long list of African strikers to have made an impact on the English game under Roberto Martinez this season.
What do you think of Kone’s arrival?
Here is Arouna scoring a goal against giants’ Real Madrid last season...
image: © illarterate