TONY Mowbray believes Argentine winger Juan Carlos Menseguez could be an asset to West Bromwich Albion next season, regardless of what division they find themselves in, and wishes he had signed the diminutive forward earlier.
The 25-year-old from Cordoba arrived at The Hawthorns at the end of the January transfer window on a short-term loan from top Argentine side San Lorenzo de Almagro with a view to a permanent deal, but he has taken his time to adjust to the pace and power of English football and Albion boss Mowbray has been reluctant to throw him in until he felt he was ready.
Mowbray admits his approach may have frustrated Menseguez but he said the only regret he had was not being able to work with the player earlier in the season so the Albion fans had more opportunities to witness his obvious talents.
Menseguez scored his first goal for the club, a true stunner, after coming on as a substitute during the 3-0 win over Sunderland and Mowbray has promised a few more cameos between now and the end of the season.
“You can only judge what you see in training day in, day out, and he has grown in confidence around the group,” Mowbray said.
“He feels part of the group now and that has manifest in his confidence on the ball and cleverness with the ball.
“While he is a slight frame, he is hard to knock off the ball and is very clever with it.
“His confidence levels are high and it is great for him that he has done what he will think is quite natural on Saturday. He took a ball in the box with his first touch and smashed it away. With four games to go I am pretty sure we will see more of him.
“He has dancing feet. I watch in training and it is very hard for our players to get the ball off him.
“He is exciting and it is almost a shame that he came on the last day of the window because it has taken him a couple of months to get used to the pace of English football, the physicality of the league and understand that in England you can’t just stand out on the wing or up front, you have to run back and tackle and help the shape of the team. It is a different type of match to what they play in South America.”
Mowbray is interested in making the deal permanent but accepts it may not be his decision in the end.