Tag Archives: christian walton

What are Blackburn Rovers getting from former Wigan Athletic ‘keeper

Blackburn Rovers have completed the signing of Christian Walton, on a season-long loan from Brighton and Hove Albion.

Dan, from The Football Manc Cave, looks at what the young ‘keeper will offer Rovers next season.

Well, in the two seasons he was at Wigan Athletic, we won a league title and secured safety in the Championship, and he’s been a big part of that – so he’s done well.

Future England No1?

Walton is very highly regarded at Brighton and tipped not only to be their number one in a few years, but also England’s. He signed a five-year contract last year, before signing for us on loan again.

In all honesty, Walton has a lot of learning to do, however, he’s becoming more and more experienced, while playing at a good level. He started last season very well, contributing to our brilliant home form.

Against Leeds Utd at home, live on Sky surprisingly, he made a howler and we lost the game 1-2. Since then, he was never the same. His confidence looked shot and he was actually dropped for a short time.

I’m no goalkeeping expert, however, as a fan sitting in the stands, he never filled with me with a great detail of confidence. He’s just not commanding or brave enough, there were crosses coming into his six-yard box, and he was glued to his line. Similarly, if through balls are a touch heavy from the opposing team, Walton was very slow to recognise that.

The 23 year-olds best attribute is undoubtedly his shot-stopping. Outstanding. From close or long-range, he’s brilliant at getting down and has very strong hands. On the other hand, his kicking is poor. His goal-kicks are average, but dealing with back-passes is a big problem as he just seems to panic.

I think Walton has a good future ahead of him. It’s a move that will benefit all parties, he’ll do a solid job for Blackburn, and head back to Brighton a better player.

To-Do List: Wigan Athletic must do these 2 things before the start of the season

Wigan Athletic welcome recently relegated Cardiff City to the DW Stadium on 3rd August. In their opening game of the 2019/20 Championship campaign.

It’ll be a new look Wigan team that takes to the field, with four starters from last season already leaving the club. Loanees Christian Walton, Antonee Robinson and Reece James returned to their home clubs, while Nick Powell signed for Stoke on a free transfer.

So, Latics boss Paul Cook has an important few weeks to build a side that will be ready to take on the rest of the Championship. I look at a couple of things that Wigan MUST do before 3rd August…

Sign a left-back

At the moment, we haven’t got a left-back on the books. I’m not classing Kal Naismith as one, because he’s not a defender. The former Pompey man struggled when asked to fill in the void last season. However when playing midfield he was very good, and it was evident that’s his primary position. Fans unfairly judged him, when playing out of position. Whether we sign Robinson on a permanent deal from Everton or sign somebody else, it remains to be seen – just sign a left-back please, Cook.

Trust Windass or sign a Powell replacement

In the 4-2-3-1 formation, the most important position is the role behind the striker. You need an influential player who can score/create goals, add to the fact Powell was our most talented player. I’d like to see Windass given an opportunity in his favoured position, he divides opinion within our fan base, I understand why. However, just give him a chance this season – now Powell is gone, let’s what he’s really about and if he can step-up. If Cook doesn’t think he’s up to replacing Powell, we must sign a quality replacement. Otherwise, we simply won’t score enough goals.

Cook has three key areas he needs to strengthen for Wigan Athletic to try and hit the playoffs

Well, after a positive season in the Championship (for a change), it feels like our squad has been ripped apart and we have to start again this summer. I suppose it was expected considering three of our best players were on loan, and Powell was always unlikely to sign a new contract.

We still have the foundation of a decent squad, however, we still need a squad overhaul to ensure we have competition for places. I expect us to loan a few of Chelsea’s youth players, after the outstanding work we have done with Reece James. If this link with Benfica comes to fruition, they could provide us with a few top players also.

It’s a big summer for Wigan. How much ambition do the new owners have? Do they trust Cook to sign a number of young, talented players for decent money, or are we looking at signing frees and loans? A mix of both, I’d imagine.

Either way, we need to get our signings right. Powell and James were our two best players, we’ve already lost one and will likely lose the other. Furthermore, we’ve got squad players to buy after Darron Gibson and Callum McManaman were both released.

I look at three areas we need to strengthen ahead of next season…

Strength in midfield

It’s impossible for us to replace James. He’s worth more than our club, genuinely. But what did he offer us – pace, power, ability on the ball, so we need to look at replacing his attributes and signing a similar type of player. A powerhouse. Morsy is more of a ‘ball-winning’ midfielder, so offers that protection for a partner to have the freedom and break forward.

Lee Evans ended the season very well but is more suited as an attacking midfielder, opposed to a defensive one. Mohamed Diame has recently been released from Newcastle, it’s a shame his wages will be a stumbling block, he’s exactly what we need to replace James.

Speed merchants

Cook likes to play with one up front, and that striker is predominantly a ‘target man’. I don’t have a problem with that as it allows our creative players to flourish, and enjoy plenty of the ball in the right areas. However, we need a plan B to improve our away form. We led by one goal in a number of games away from home last season, but couldn’t find that killer second goal because we didn’t have the pace to counter-attack.

Conor Washington is available for free. He’s a striker that can run in-behind and exploit a high defensive line. Fraizer Campbell another. Come on Cookie, I’m doing your job for you.

A new number one

We’ve had Christian Walton on loan from Brighton for the past two seasons, and he’s been brilliant. However, there are no suggestions that he’ll be joining us for a third spell. Jamie Jones didn’t take advantage of a run in the side, therefore Cook will be looking for a new commanding ‘keeper. Jamal Blackman is currently unused at Chelsea, he’s got a wealth of EFL experience and would be a good addition for us.

Two Chelsea Youngsters Wigan Athletic Should Go In For This Summer

Reece James arrived to Wigan a boy, and left a man.

On the final day of the season, Paul Cook gave him the opportunity to captain the side, and substituted him in the last five minutes, to allow the fans an opportunity to thank him for his efforts throughout the season. In my time watching football, I’ve never seen a loan player have such a positive effect on a club, fans had tears in their eyes when he walked off the pitch vs Millwall. A truly special talent. Now, who’s the next one, give us some options Chelsea…

Chelsea are known for loaning out a lot of players every season, I think we’ve built a good connection after the work we have done with James, so will definitely be getting a couple of players to develop. There are certainly worse feeder clubs than Chelsea.

I look at two players I’d like to see us take on loan from Sarri’s side…

Matt Miazga

Paul Cook is reportedly on the lookout for a ‘ball-playing’ centre back, and Miazga absolutely fits the ball. The American had a very good five months at Reading, making 18 appearances and helping The Royals avoid relegation. I imagine Chelsea will want him to gain more experience in the Championship, Wigan seems the perfect fit. They can trust us to develop him as a player, he’ll play regularly and be joining a side that likes to play attractive football starting from the defence. It makes sense for all parties.

Jamal Blackman

Christian Walton has been our number one for the past two years, the young ‘keeper has returned to Brighton and there’s been little talk of him returning for a third loan spell. With Wigan needing a lot of signings this summer, I think Cook will be looking to utilise the loan market and sign players that will be guaranteed starters. Blackman is a highly-rated goalkeeper, has experience in the EFL and is at an age where he’ll be wanting to play regularly. He could come to Wigan and be handed the number one shirt immediately.

OPINION: Wigan Athletic Should Forget signing Portsmouth’s Jamal Lowe, Here’s Why…

Is Paul Cook about to be reunited with another one of his pals from Portsmouth?

Wigan are interested in signing attacker Jamal Lowe. Pompey lost against Sunderland in the League One play-off semi-final, therefore it is expected that Lowe will be playing his football away from Fratton Park next season, and in the Championship.

Lowe, 24, scored 17 goals last season from out wide, a very good return. I really rate him as a player – direct, quick, likes to beat a man, scores goals, but Wigan already have players that can do that, and are proven at this level. With Christian Walton (Brighton), Antonee Robinson (Everton) and Reece James (Chelsea) all returning to their parent clubs, and Nick Powell expected to join Stoke at the end of the month, replacing their departures must be a priority this summer.

The Latics are already blessed with quality wingers, Michael Jacobs, Gavin Massey, Anthony Pilkington and Gary Roberts, so in my opinion, the last position we should be spending a considerable amount of our transfer budget on is a winger. I’d rather see the cash spent on a ‘target man’ style striker, who could be assisted by the wingers mentioned.

Although Lowe is undoubtedly a talent, and would probably make the step-up to the Championship without a problem, he shouldn’t be our first signing this summer. If we had endless amounts of cash (maybe the McCarthy has become available) then yes I’d be hoping we signed him. However, a new goalkeeper, left back, central midfielder and striker should be the ultimate focus for us this transfer window.

Cook has already brought Kal Naismith and Gary Roberts to the DW Stadium from Fratton Park, so I wouldn’t be surprised at all if the Lowe transfer happened.

A few loans each from Benfica and Chelsea, then sign Lowe, i’ll take that.