There is usually a collective groan among some sections of the Latics crowd when it is announced that we have secured a player on loan. “Other team’s failures” is popular opinion and it is often a valid one. There have been a couple of players who have deserved the shaking of heads from the stands, but then there are others who we can honestly say will live long in our memories.
The 2018/19 season will be remembered for a number of things both on and off the pitch. However, it will hopefully stay in people’s memories because of three loan players who had a dramatic impact on the season. Sam Surridge, on loan from Bournemouth, had an excellent spell with us which was unfortunately cut short when he returned to the South Coast club.
Daniel Iversen, in goal has been a rock and will be difficult to replace but it is Callum Lang, on loan from Wigan who has arguably had the biggest impact on this season. With there being little doubt that without him, we would not have achieved what we managed to do in the FA Cup and League Two.
He has played over 40 games this season which has helped his game considerably. His early position in the side was out wide however and, restricted his goalscoring ambitions. Once he was put in a more forward role, the goals started to come including what might be voted the goal of the season against Cheltenham when he beat four men on the edge of the box before firing home.
His winning goal against Fulham in the FA Cup would have been enough to award him lifelong hero status at Boundary Park. But he has also shown what a valuable addition he will be to any club by his work in the local community, his positive on-field attitude and the acknowledgement he gives to the club’s supporters who have often remarked how he is the last man off the pitch after applauding the fans.
Lang deserves a chance to shine at a higher level and may well catch the Wigan first team on his return. The chance of Latics signing him are slim to say the least but we can always hope!
His aim was to finish off the season in style by getting on the scoresheet against Northampton which he duly did, but with Northampton rattling in five against a makeshift Latics defence, it perhaps wasn’t the exit he would have hoped for.