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14 August 2012

Ivory Coast international becomes fourth summer signing

Wigan Athletic are delighted to announce the signing of Ivory Coast striker ArounaKone on a three-year-deal after completing his move from La Liga side Levante for an undisclosed fee.

The 28-year-old becomes Roberto Martinez’s fourth signing of the summer transfer window and is on the back of a prolific season in Spain’s top flight, scoring 15 goals to finish as the division’s joint-ninth top scorer and help Levante qualify for the Europa League with a sixth place finish.

The forward had been on loan on from fellow Spanish side Sevilla, whom he had joined in 2007 from Dutch side PSV, but made the move permanent at the end of the campaign having hit form in-front of goal.

Before arriving in Spain, Kone had spent four years in Holland, joining Roda in 2003 and going to make 63 appearances and score 27 goals, before joining Dutch giants PSV Eindhoven where he won two league titles and scored 21 goals from 53 appearances in all competitions, gaining Champions League experience for the first time also.

Kone began his career with local team Rio Sport d’Anyama and in 2002, aged 18, he signed for Belgian side Lierse S.K. finishing top scorer in his first season before joining Roda.

At international level the striker has made 35 appearances for Ivory Coast and scored nine goals, making his debut in 2004 against Tunisia, appearing in the 2006 & 2008 Africa Cup of Nations, the 2006 World Cup in Germany and netting a hat-trick against Gabon later that year.

"He's a player that we've been chasing for a long long time," said manager Roberto Martinez.

"We know Arouna really well, he got tremendous experience in European football and we've really enjoyed watching his goal scoring talent.

"He's a strong payer with a clinical touch and someone who will bring us something different up front."

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