I've not been back to update this entry on Marlon King since the negotiations broke down at a very late stage. There's some quotes from Mr Hodgson on Sky which give a few clues (if you read between the lines) as to what happened. Hodgson says "I wanted Marlon as a player, I met him and was happy to work with him at the club. Then, two aspects were out of my hands, ie the medical. First our staff, and then Mohamed Al Fayed's personal physician looked at the player, and then the negotiations with the player with regard to his personal contract. I believe that some sort of deal had been agreed between Fulham Football Club and Watford before that came about, and the information I was given, quite simply, was that the personal physician of Mohamed Al Fayed was not prepared to give a guarantee given the injury that it would not reoccur". Hodgson added "He's a good player and I'm sure he'll do well for Wigan, and I wish him well there. As far as I'm concerned I quite happily accepted the facts as they were presented to me and I have been moving on with other transfer targets since then, and as soon as it was made clear to me that Marlon would not be a viable proposition". My only comment on this is to wonder if Mr Al Fayed's current physician is the same man that performed the medical on John Carew ... we'll probably never know. I'll leave the following introduction to Marlon in place for the interest of any passing Wigan fans.
Finally, seventeen days into the transfer window, we've managed our first signing. Marlon King arrives from Watford in a deal suggested to be worth £5Million, with Collins John going the opposite direction on loan for the rest of the season. Striker King is a few months short of 28 years old and has previously played for Barnet, Gillingham, Nottingham Forest and (albeit briefly) Leeds United. He might not be that big imposing centre forward we've been looking for since Brian McBride got injured (though he is 6' 1'') but he certainly knows his way to goal. According to SoccerBase he's scored 100 goals in 239 league appearances, though most of those are outside of the top division. He missed most of Watford's season in the Premier League due to injury but did manage four goals in the thirteen games he played including, almost inevitably, a goal against Fulham in the 3-3 draw with Watford at Vicarage Road. King was touted as a target when Sanchez was still in charge, and having again been made to pay through the nose for a Championship player (hello Mr Kamara, I'm talking about you!) there's bound to be concerns that he won't be able to step up to the required standard. I'll not make any judgements yet, we'll see how good he is when he starts to play.