Tag Archives: signings

2 reasons why Man City’s Aro Muric would be a great signing for Nottingham Forest

Nottingham Forest are interested are looking to sign Manchester City goalkeeper Aro Muric on loan. Guardiola is clearly a fan of the goalkeeper, as the Nottingham Post report that he called Muric ‘incredible’ as he helped earn City a place in the EFL Cup semi-finals with penalty shoot-out heroics against Leicester.

Ederson was arguably the best ‘keeper in the Premier League last season, therefore Muric’s playing chances are very limited. Therefore, Pep will be looking for the youngster to gain some vital EFL experience. He looks pretty special judging from his cup performances for City, however, a full season in the Championship will really test how good he is.

Why will Forest desperately be trying to get the loan signing over the line…

City a future feeder club for Forest

You may laugh. Wigan has done it with Chelsea, after the incredible work we have done with Recce James, we’ve been promised a couple of loan players for the next campaign.

If Forest were to sign Muric, play him for a majority of the season, allow him to express his footballing qualities and develop, City will appreciate that. Forest presumably have considerable transfer funds, in comparison to Wigan, so becoming a feeder club may not be in their thoughts. However, I bet if Sergio Aguero became available for loan – Forest would be at the front of the queue.

Excellent distribution

Muric is a very good footballer, confident when playing out from the back.  Maybe Martin O’Neill is looking to implement a new attractive style at the City Ground next season. There are not many better places to start than with a goalkeeper that Guardiola has trained. Let’s not forget though, Muric is a top ‘keeper, people forget how good he and Ederson are because they focus on their footballing side. Both do the ‘text-book goalkeeping’ extremely well.

Banide has three key areas he needs to strengthen for Oldham Athletic to win a surprise promotion in his first season

Laurent Banide was appointed Oldham Athletic manager on Tuesday. The Frenchman has spent the majority of his managerial career in Qatar and never managed in England, so to say it’s a shock, is an understatement of the century.  

The appointment has certainly split opinion with The Latics fan. It’s either going to be a masterstroke or nightmare, with most fans expecting the latter. The Oldham faithful expected their new manager to have EFL experience, who could battle through the club’s current ‘off-field’ problems, and sign loans/frees who he had connections with.

Anyway, good luck Oldham. Maybe you’ve found the League Two Pep Guardiola, it’s a gamble that will probably make or break their season.

I look at three things that Banide must do ahead of the 2019/20 campaign if they want to mount a promotion push…

Start the season well

If a managerial appointment has split opinion, you need to get the doubters on your side early. Otherwise, things can quickly go pear-shaped. Banide needs to win a couple of home games early, show the players are up for the fight and behind the manager.

Aim to make the fans proud to be Oldham Athletic fans, and excited to be at Boundary Park. A few comfortable wins, positive football and connect with the fans – as easy as that Banide, over to you.

Get the fans on side

There was a largely negative reaction to the announcement of his appointment. Banide needs to have a clear plan for the club. Show his ambition and convince the fans he is the man to take Oldham forward.

Loyal fans will stick with their club regardless of division, managers or players because they are supporters. However, the Frenchman needs to have the fans backing ahead of the season to succeed. Any broken relationships with players or fans will surface, and negatively affect performances on the pitch.

Sign a goalscorer

In League Two, if you have a regular goal scorer who can bag 20+ goals, you’ll generally be challenging at the right end of the table come May. A man of Banide’s experience will know scoring goals is key, particularly in leagues that are competitive and provide tight contests.

Callum Lang scored 16 goals for The Latics last season, I wonder if they’ll explore the possibility of him returning on loan, should Wigan be looking for him to gain more experience in the EFL.

Should Wigan Athletic Be Going All Out for Oldham Athletic’s Edmundson or Focus Elsewhere

George Edmundson is presumably on route to Peterborough or Rangers. Both clubs are battling for his signature, although it seems The Posh have moved ahead in the race, after reportedly having an offer accepted for the young defender.

Edmundson was named in the 2018/19 EFL League Two team of the season and, is attracting interest from a number of sides. Oldham will be hoping for an auction, to raise as much money as possible for their departing defender.

Wigan manager Paul Cook is on the hunt for a ‘ball-playing’ defender, but I think Matt Miazga will sign on loan from Chelsea, which will fill that void. The Latics signed Danny Fox in the January transfer window, who has performed brilliantly since joining from Nottingham Forest. He’s a real leader and comfortable playing out from the back. Chey Dunkley and Cedric Kipre are both young, strong defenders, but aren’t great footballers in terms of distributing the ball from the defence. Miazga would give us that physicality and ability to start attacks from the defence, that Cook is looking for.

I expect the majority of our transfer budget to be spent on a new number nine, to score us 15-20 goals, and the rest on a new midfielder to replace Reece James. Most of our signings will be frees and loans unless we sell one of our assets like Sam Morsy for a sizeable fee. A centre back isn’t an immediate priority, so I’d say it’s unlikely we’ll be joining the chase for Edmundson. Especially considering an auction will likely see the fee rise to around £1 million, Wigan could put that money towards a new striker.

Don’t get me wrong, I really rate Edmundson, and I believe he’ll be worth a lot more than £1 million in a couple of years time, so he’s a very good long-term investment. However, Wigan needs to buy players, for NOW, players that are going to impress from the off and push us up the table next season.

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.

Rangers’ Packed Out Ibrox or Peterborough’s EFL Push – Oldham Atheltic’s Edmundson Tough Decision

George Edmundson is a man in demand and it’s being reported that a deal has been agreed between Oldham and Peterborough, which will see the defender join The Posh imminently.

Rangers have also been interested in signing the young defender. Steven Gerrard’s side finished 2nd to Celtic last season and, will be looking to win the league next campaign. Edmundson could provide that real stability and leading figure at the back, that Gerrard is searching for.

The highly-rated Oldham player is spoilt for choice. Two great, ambitious clubs are fighting for his signature, which will only improve his performance and reputation.

Peterborough are suggesting they are really up for a promotion push next season, having already signed Mohamed Eisa for big money, and added experience in signing Mark Beevers. Both are very good signings in League One, if they keep hold of Ivan Toney and Marcus Maddison, I expect to see them challenging for automatic promotion. Darren Ferguson almost guided his side into 6th spot last season, but perhaps they needed to be better prepared for life in the Championship anyway,  and I feel this summer they are building a squad to prepare for life in the higher division.

On the other hand, Rangers are a much bigger side and an attractive proposition for most footballers. It’s an opportunity to play at a packed out Ibrox every week, play in old-firm derbies and work with Steven Gerrard, sounds tough to turn down?

Either way, whichever club he joins, he’ll succeed and it’s a great move. Does he want to stay in England and try to climb the EFL with Peterborough, or move onto pastures new and sign for Scottish giants Rangers? That’s his choice, and I imagine it’ll take a while to decide.

2 Areas Wigan Athletic Need To Strengthen Ahead of Next Season

It almost feels like Wigan are back to square one, in terms of building our own squad. We had a good 2018/19 season, finishing 18th after being promoted the season prior. However, we’ve released a number of players, Powell is leaving on a free, and three of our best players have returned to their parent clubs.

We have a foundation of a solid squad, but it’s looking as if we need to sign 10+ players this summer. I expect us to loan a few of Chelsea’s youth players, after the brilliant work we have done with Reece James, and if this link with Benfica comes to fruition, they could provide us with a few quality players.

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?

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, good luck replacing them two because it will take some doing.

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

Strength in midfield

It’s impossible for us to replace James. He is a £25 million player already. 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. I’d like to see us sign a goalscoring midfielder who likes to get forward and run with the ball. Morsy is more of a ‘ball-winning’ midfielder, so offers that protection for a partner to have the freedom and break forward. Mohamed Diame has just been released from Newcastle, it’s a shame his wages will be a stumbling block, he would have been perfect.

Pace, pace and more pace

Cook tends 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, I do feel like we need a plan B. We led 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.

These Two Things Will Make it a Good Season For Wigan Athletic Next Year

If you offered any Wigan fan an 18th placed finish at the start of last season, trust me, we’d of snapped your hand off. The last two times we had been in the Championship, we were relegated.

Paul Cook has done a superb job at Latics. The former Pompey gaffer won League One at the first time of asking, and kept us in the Championship with relative ease, in his second season. Bare in mind we only spent around £4 million last summer, and are still playing with players who won us the League One title, he’s overachieving.

Now we’re looking to build on a good season, and push for a comfortable mid-table finish (you never know, we might sneak 6th). I look at two things that will be pivotal this summer, as we prepare for another rollercoaster campaign.

We need a goalscorer

Wigan were very good in a number of games last season but didn’t always get what they deserved. Lots of ‘pretty’ football and positive wing play, but nobody to put the ball in the net. We defended well and controlled a majority of our home games, however, scoring goals was a problem.

I’m realistic, we aren’t going to splash out £8 million on a proven goalscorer. We need Cookie to find a gem, work your magic Paul.

Keep Sam Morsy

Wigan have been a victim of losing their star players for years and years. It’s often done with the club’s interest at heart, in terms of finances (we don’t want to end up like them down the road) but I think Morsy needs to be kept at all costs. He’s club captain and been with Paul Cook for most of his career. The team feeds of Morsy’s hunger and endeavour, always pressing and hunting for possession, he sets the tone and standard for others to follow – we can’t lose that.

Wigan Athletic Should Look At These Two Players Instead of Jamal Lowe

Wigan are interested in signing Portsmouth attacker Jamal Lowe. After Pompey’s playoff disappointment, the club are bracing themselves for bids from a number of clubs for their prized players this summer.

Lowe had a successful season on a personal level, scoring 17 goals, so a potential move to the Championship may tempt him into leaving Fratton Park.

Also, Paul Cook has already signed a couple of his old Portsmouth mates, Kal Naismith and Gary Roberts, why not make it a hat-trick?

Lowe is a very good player, and I’m sure he’d do well in the Championship. He has pace, trickery and an eye for goal, all of which will bring him success in this division, however, there’s a number of things that are putting me off signing him. Should he be a priority when we’ve lost a number of players in other positions and, how much of our transfer budget would he take up. Wigan needs to prioritise this summer and, fill the void spots before they think about adding quality for competition for places purposes.

I estimate Lowe would cost upwards of £2 million and spending that on a position we are already strong in, doesn’t make sense to me. I look at two alternatives that could be signed on free transfers…

Albert Adomah

Adomah was among the eight players released by Aston Villa following their promotion to the Premier League. Although he didn’t feature a great deal last season, I still think he’s a good player at this level. He’s always been somebody I’ve enjoyed watching, purely for his directness and pace.

Wigan could do with signing a couple of quick players this summer, to help us counter-attack when playing away from home. I imagine there’ll be a number of clubs looking to secure his signature, if Wigan isn’t one of those, I’ll be very disappointed.

Yanic Wildschut

I’ve got my tin hat on. I think our fan base are completely 50/50 on whether they would want Wildschut to return. For me, it’s a no brainer. He moved to Norwich to better his career, it didn’t work out, now come home and never gamble with your future again.

No matter what your opinion on him is, you can’t deny he’s unplayable on his day and a real asset to any club. Blistering speed, physicality, end product and he’s FREE. This is a controversial statement, but I’d take him back in a heartbeat.

Two Bury Players That Could Follow Ryan Lowe To Plymouth

Ryan Lowe was appointed the new manager of Plymouth this week. The 40-year-old led Bury to promotion from League Two, but the club have faced numerous off-field issues, including a winding-up petition and staff going unpaid.

He joins a Pilgrims team that were relegated from League One on the final day. Lowe will be looking for automatic promotion next season.

Ryan said: “I am thrilled to have been appointed Argyle manager and to have been given this opportunity to manage a great football club.

Although Lowe did a great job at Bury and is likely to be devastated about how his tenure had to end there, he has a new challenge at Plymouth.

The Shakers could be in for further upset if Lowe comes hunting for his old players, I look at who he might be back for…

Nicky Maynard

A proven goalscorer. Maynard scored 21 goals last season, which proved the difference between automatic promotion and playoffs. The striker has operated at a higher level for the majority his career when playing for West Ham, Bristol City and Wigan, so his experience will also be vital to Plymouth’s side. Lowe clearly knows how to get the best out of Maynard, and a similar goal tally next season could clinch another promotion.

Jay O’Shea

Another player that played a significant role in Bury’s last campaign. He finished the season with 16 goals and five assists, which is a very good return for a midfielder, and with Graham Carey departing Plymouth, Lowe will be looking to replace his creativity. With O’Shea out of contract later this month, and seemingly on the lookout for a new club, an opportunity to work with Lowe again might be the perfect move.

OPINION: Birmingham’s Lukas Jutkiewicz Fits The Wigan Athletic Bill Perfectly

The rumour mill has started. I usually take ‘transfer rumours’ with a pinch of salt, mainly because Wigan are apparently on the verge of signing Giovani Dos Santos and Jordan Rhodes every transfer window.

However, the link to Lukas Jutkiewicz which has surfaced over the past few days is very credible, given Wigan are in the market for a ‘target man’ type striker.

Paul Cook’s side finished a credible 18th place last campaign but scored just 51 goals. With Leon Clarke returning to Sheffield United and Nick Powell rejecting a new contract offer, the Latics will be left with limited attacking options.

Joe Garner netted eight goals last season, and youngster Callum Lang will be returning after his successful loan spell at Oldham, but I’m sure Cook will be on the lookout for a striker who can score around 15-20 goals and propel his side to a top-half finish.

Is Lukas Jutkiewicz the saviour to his problems?

He’s certainly a striker that would ‘fit the bill’ in terms of fitting into our style of play. Wigan have attacking threat on the wings, with Gavin Massey and Michael Jacobs usually adopting the wide areas, however last season we didn’t have a finisher to benefit from their creativity. Jutkiewicz scored 14 goals last season, which is a good return in a Birmingham side that struggled for large parts of the season.

Whenever I’ve watched Jutkiewicz, he’s always been a handful for defenders. A similar type of player to Chris Wood who works hard, fights for every ball, constantly harrying defenders and always in the box at the right times. I expect Wigan to use Josh Windass more next season, and I feel like he could flourish playing ‘number 10’ behind a striker like Jutkiewicz.

It’s a yes from me, make Jutkiewicz a blue, a Wigan blue.

Would other Wigan fans be happy with the signing?

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