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Page last updated at 20:43 GMT, Thursday, 13 August 2009 21:43 UK

Martinez hails 'magician' Koumas

Jason Koumas
Koumas' Wales career has been questioned with youngsters emerging

Wigan manager Roberto Martinez says a revitalised Jason Koumas can shine at Premier League level and boost Wales.

"I've seen that bit of a spark in his eye, he's desperate to play a big part for Wigan, that's good for everyone," he told the BBC's Sport Wales TV show.

"Technically it would be very difficult to find a better player at Premiership level, he's a magician, his first touch is out of this world.

"[If right] he'll have a huge impact on the Premiership and... Welsh football."

The mercurial 29-year-old midfielder, a £5.3m signing from West Brom in July 2007, struggled to find form and hold down a regular Wigan place last season.

606: DEBATE

Wrexham-born Koumas has 10 Wales goals from 34 caps, but erratic form has meant his international future has been questioned.

Wales manager John Toshack has turned to youth and has particular young talent in midfield with the likes of Aaron Ramsey, Jack Collison, David Edwards and Joe Ledley.

But Koumas has been encouraged by this summer's arrival of Martinez at the Latics, and the Spaniard has been equally complimentary about the player.

"Jason started this season really, really well, [he's] been working really hard," the former midfielder told Sport Wales.

"We've got great competition in that position, we need to get the best out of Jason.

"When he's enjoying his football the fans really love his creativity.

"Now it's down to Jason to make sure that he's in the position to enjoy his football.

"He's a top professional who knows exactly what he has to do.

"He's a huge asset for Wigan Athletic, we all hope that he can enjoy his football and probably take the maturity to perform to the highest of his ability."

*Hear more from Martinez on Sport Wales, Friday, 14 August, 2100 BST, BBC TWO Wales



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see also
Sport Wales: The TV programme
28 Sep 09 |  Wales
Wigan sign Martinez as manager
16 Jun 09 |  Sport
Montenegro 2-1 Wales
12 Aug 09 |  Internationals
Wales' older stars set for chop
28 May 09 |  Internationals
Wales deny Koumas retirement talk
02 Apr 09 |  Welsh
Pick your Wales XI
05 Feb 07 |  Internationals
Wales' international fixtures
22 Aug 07 |  Internationals
Wales' results archive
10 Oct 05 |  Internationals
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Feb 09 |  Wales


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