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Pay him what he wants! 3 reasons why Wigan Athletic need Premier League striker

Wigan Athletic and Jordan Hugill. The move has been on and off, more times than a light switch. According to the Bristol Post, Wigan is closing in on a move for the West Ham United striker.

It was reported by The Sun journalist, Alan Nixon, that Latics had agreed on a fee for the striker, however, wages were a problem. It’s a deal that needs a resolution soon, with the season starting in less than two weeks and Wigan only having two recognised strikers on their books.

Here at The Football Manc Cave, we have a look at why it’s vital that Wigan get this deal over the line…

It makes or breaks our season

Signing a striker will make or break our season, I expect us to hit mid-table or higher if we sign a Hugill/Joao, with the other attacking quality we have. However, without a regular goalscorer, we’ll be fighting relegation. It’s all good and well having a solid defence, and lots of creative players, but without goals, you don’t win games.

Offers more than goals

Hugill is more than a goalscorer, his greatest attribute is his ability to hold the ball up and bring others into play. That’s exactly what we need. We have Michael Jacobs, Josh Windass, Anthony Pilkington, Gavin Massey and others that can chip in with goals. However, it’s getting them the ball in dangerous areas. Having Hugill would allow us to play direct at times, he can battle with defenders and bring our wide-men into the game.

Excites the fans

A striker signing for a few million quid will excite supporters. Fans like a number nine that guarantees goals, we had one not long ago, sold him on deadline day. £4 million though for a player only proven in League One, it was a great deal for us and one we couldn’t turn down. Back on topic, fans want goals and strikers that bully defences. Hugill has done that at Preston, his move to West Ham just didn’t work out. Come to Latics and make yourself a hero!

Two things Cook would have learnt from Wigan Athletic’s draw with Bradford City

Wigan Athletic prepare for matches against Premier Leagues, Everton and Burnley, following their 1-1 draw vs Bradford City on Saturday. The Latics’ Championship campaign starts on Saturday 3rd August against Cardiff.

Wigan visited Valley Parade, as boss Paul Cook looks to gear up his side for another tough season. Former Latics striker scored a penalty in the first half before Anthony Pilkington levelled minutes into the second half. The Latics dominated after the break, however, couldn’t find a winner. A good run out for both sides.

Dan, from The Football Manc Cave, looks at what Cook will have to learn from the draw, ahead of their last two friendlies this week.

Anthony Pilkington will play a big part this season

Pilkington has arguably been our best player this pre-season, and I expect him to be like a new signing after having a full pre-season with us.

The attacker signed in January, and played brilliantly on his debut vs Aston Villa, showcasing his skills to assist Gary Roberts. After that, he struggled to make a real impact. Whether it was down to lack of match fitness, or just him not being on the same wavelength as our other attacking players, I’ve no doubt he’ll be much better this season. He’s got a lot of quality, scores goals, quick, versatile and has been successful in both the Premier League and Championship.

We need a striker

It’s plain and simple, the fans, staff and owners know it. We need a striker. We are trying though, which is positive news. Sam Gallagher opted to sign for Blackburn Rovers, while a move for Jordan Hugill has been agreed with West Ham United, however, there’s a dispute over wages ongoing. They are the right types, target men. Hugill struggled last season at Middlesbrough because Pulis didn’t get players around him in support. Wigan plays with three attacking midfielders behind the striker, Hugill holds the ball up and attacks the box very well. The striker would be a good signing if we can get it over the line.

‘Announce promotion’ ‘You draw your away games you win your home games, you go up as champions, up the tics’ Wigan Athletic fans optimistic following draw

Wigan Athletic drew 1-1 at Bradford City yesterday, as they continue preparations ahead of their Championship campaign starting against Cardiff City on August 3rd.

Former Latics striker James Vaughan scored a penalty in the first half before Anthony Pilkington levelled the score shortly after the break.

Paul Cook’s final two preseason games will see them host Premier League sides, Everton and Burnley.

Let’s see what Wigan fans made of the 1-1 draw vs Bradford yesterday…

Forget Hugill: Here’s 2 strikers Wigan Athletic should try to sign

According to Sky Sports, Wigan Athletic’s proposed move for Jordan Hugill has fallen through. It was reported a fee was agreed with West Ham United, however, player wages were the stumbling block.

Dan, from The Football Manc Cave, looks at two other potential strikers that may interest Paul Cook…

Lucas Joao

Money, money, money. IEC has bags of it. Splash the cash on this guy and we’ll hit the play-offs. The Star reported that the Portuguese striker handed in a transfer request a couple of days ago, he must be desperate for a pie and a pint in Wigan, I can’t blame him.

Joao is a player I’ve always rated, and I never feel he gets the game time or recognition he deserves. A central defenders nightmare in my opinion, physical, strong, quick with an eye for goal. A Drogba type, just not as good. The striker scored 10 goals in 31 appearances last season, however, he played second fiddle to Steven Fletcher for the majority, and The Owls chopped and changed managers.

Wigan has real quality creative players. Michael Jacobs, Gavin Massey, Anthony Pilkington and hopefully Jamal Lowe will be joining us soon. If we could provide him with service, he would score goals. Joao also fits that ‘target man’ role that Paul Cook is presumably looking to fill.

I think we’d be priced out of a permanent move, maybe a loan would be a sensible option for all parties. I, for one, would like him at Latics. A very good Championship striker.

Kieffer Moore

The Tykes will be looking to hold onto him this summer, as he’ll be needed to score the goals that’ll keep them in the league. Perhaps not a risk worth taking if it would take a £3-4 million bid, nevertheless a good striker that deserves another chance at this level.

‘Give Lang a start!’ Wigan Athletic’s 11 should look like this ahead of their friendly with Bradford City

Wigan Athletic travel to Bradford City on Saturday, for a pre-season friendly, before they play host to Premier League sides Burnley and Everton.

Dan from The Football Manc Cave predicts what Paul Cook’s side may look like on Saturday, as they continue their preparations ahead of their season opener vs Cardiff on August 3rd.

Kicking off with David Marshall in goal, the more game-time he can get in pre-season the better because he’ll be number one next season. Let’s welcome Antonee Robinson back with a start, while Nathan Byrne will adopt his regular right-back spot. Danny Fox missed the final two games of last season through injury, so it’s important to play him, and form a partnership with Cedric Kipre in case Cook doesn’t sign the centre half he’s chasing.

Captain Sam Morsy got a well-deserved break after not being picked in Egypt’s African Cup of Nations squad, he’ll be raring to go. Chris Merrie is a highly-rated youngster, he could be in for some game-time next campaign, let’s see what he’s got against League Two opposition.

Similarly, Lopes has bags of potential, and will likely be loaned out if Jamal Lowe completes his move, however, I feel he deserves a chance to express himself. Lee Evans performed well in the ‘number 10’ role at the end of last season, he may well be needed next year too. Michael Jacobs was injured for a large part of last season, it’s vital he fully participated in pre-season and is 100% fit for the opener vs Cardiff.

Finally, Callum Lang is one of two strikers at the club. We know what we’ll get from Joe Garner. Lang has never played in a league game, maybe next season is his time? Let him loose.

2 free agents that Wigan Athletic should be looking at

A number of free agents have already been signed by clubs this summer. However, The Football Manc Cave look at whether there are any hidden gems that could benefit Wigan Athletic next season.

Wigan lost a large amount of players at the end of season, from loanees returning to their home clubs and the club deciding not to offer a number of players new contract.

This has left Paul Cook’s squad looking rather thin, therefore he’ll be looking to add depth to his side before the season starts on August 3rd.

Let’s pick out a couple of freebies that he may be in the hunt for…

Gary Hooper

I’m amazed he hasn’t been picked up in this summer transfer window. I can only assume his wage demands are a stumbling block for a lot of sides, with Wigan getting Nick Powell off their wage bill – perhaps there’s room for a big earner or two.

Hooper is 31 now, and has experience of scoring goals, particularly in the Championship. The English striker has hit double figures in a single season, on four occasions during his career. As well as scoring 63 times in 95 games for Scottish giants Celtic.

A natural goal scorer that would benefit most sides in this league, with his goalscoring prowess.

Danny Williams

He’s the next Reece James. I wish. Obviously we won’t find anyone as good as James, however, we need to replace the attributes he blessed us with. Pace, power and ability in midfield. Williams is 6ft2, works hard and is a well-rounded player. I always rated him at Reading, perhaps not the best on the ball, however very effective at winning the ball and driving forward.

Lee Evans is being tipped to replace James at the moment, but he played better further up the pitch towards the end of last season. I’d like to see us sign a physical midfielder, to slot alongside captain Sam Morsy.

Wigan Athletic are showing the right ambition with West Ham Utd striker

According to Claret and Hugh info, Jordan Hugill has turned down a move to Wigan Athletic after failing to agree on personal terms. It’s reported that the Championship side was prepared to pay a £4 million transfer fee, however, Hugill wouldn’t accept the £18,000 a week wages offered.

Dan from The Football Manc Cave looks at whether Hugill would’ve been a good signing, and what it suggests for the future.

I think a £4 million fee is about right for him, he’s a good Championship striker. Nothing more, nothing less. Hugill was very good for Preston, a constant threat with his physicality and battling qualities, however, I doubted whether he had the footballing ability to make the step-up to the Premier League. He didn’t, and now West Ham is desperate to offload him.

The Hammers also agreed to pay £2.5 million to pay off Hugill’s contract, which is signed until 2022. The problem, he’s on £35,000 a week currently, Championship sides will offer him £20,000 tops. Maybe we’re best to keep away if he’d rather sit on the bench than play football, it certainly questions his attitude towards football.

This gives me significant hope for the rest of this summer transfer window. The fact Wigan are prepared to offer a £4 million transfer fee, and £18,000 a week wages, shows we have money to spend. Fans can’t blame the club on this one, we’ve made a very reasonable offer and he’s not interested, move on to other targets.

Jamal Lowe is expected to sign for Wigan this week, for a fee of around £3 million. The Portsmouth star is a versatile forward, who plays on either wing or behind the striker. If we sign a good quality striker, as well as Lowe, we could be in for a good season.

Wigan Athletic closing in on Portsmouth’s 24y/o winger

According to Portsmouth News, Wigan Athletic are on the verge of signing Portsmouth attacker Jamal Lowe, for a fee in the region of £3 million.

Dan from The Football Manc Cave looks at how he will benefit Wigan’s side.

Paul Cook gave the 24-year-old his first opportunity in the EFL, after signing the attacker from Non-League side Hampton and Richmond Borough in 2016.

After rarely featuring during the 2016/17 season, Lowe scored a brace at Notts County to help Pompey clinch promotion to League One. On the final day of the season, Lowe scored again in a 6-1 win over Cheltenham, which meant they won the League Two title.

Cook left that summer to join Wigan. Since then, Lowe has played a majority of games for Kenny Jackett, usually out on the right wing. This year, he scored 15 league goals and also a great goal in the Checkatrade Trophy Final vs Sunderland, which Portsmouth won on penalties.

Lowe is a very good player. A constant threat with his pace, directness and goalscoring. He deserves to be playing at a higher level, that along with the pull of working with Cook again is too much to turn down.

It’s a signing that will get the fans excited, for sure. Big money for us, so the pressure will be on him to deliver. Fair play to the owners, they’re backing Cook. Lowe is a man in demand so we must be offering him a fair whack of wages. Let’s hope he does the business and scores plenty of goals.

2 reasons why Wigan Athletic are looking to Nottingham Forest versatile defender

According to The Sun journalist Alan Nixon, Wigan Athletic are lining up a bid for Nottingham Forest defender Tendayi Darikwa.

Here at The Football Manc Cave, we look at what Darikwa would bring to the DW Stadium if he made the switch north.

The 27-year-old was part of the Burnley side that was promoted in the 2015/16 campaign. However, he didn’t feature at all in the following season, so signed for Nottingham Forest back in the Championship.

He has featured regularly for The Midlands club, playing 58 games in two years. Although, Wigan may offer the Zimbabwean first-team football, which could tempt him into switching clubs. Also, Forest has recently appointed Sabri Lamouchi as their new manager, perhaps he has his own transfer targets and doesn’t see Darikwa as part of his plans?

What could Wigan fans expect to see if he moved to the Latics…

Physicality and pace

Darikwa is very much a modern-day full-back, possessing the ability to both attack and defend. An athletic player, with great pace and height. I watched a lot him during the season in which Burnley was promoted, and he was one of the best full-backs in the league that season. Likes to bomb forward and deliver crosses into the box, however, his pace allows him to get back and defend. Darikwa can also operate in midfield, which will tempt Paul Cook even further.

Competition

I expect Nathan Byrne to be our starting right-back next season, although I said that this time last year and Reece James rocked up to the party. So, who knows. Even still, Byrne and Darikwa are both good Championship players – it’s important to have that competition for places.

As I mentioned above, Darikwa is a versatile player. We are short in central midfielder, it wouldn’t be ideal, however, I’m sure he has all the attributes to do a good job in midfield. At the moment, it’s just an enquiry. It’ll be interesting to see if Wigan really push to conclude a deal.

‘£2m is a steal’ Wigan Athletic looking to complete the move for Everton 21y/o

According to the Liverpool Echo, Wigan Athletic are on the verge of completing a deal to sign Everton defender Antonee Robinson on a permanent deal.

Dan from Football Manc Cave looks at whether it’s a good deal for the Latics.

The 21-year-old American international spent last season at the DW Stadium during a season-long loan, in which he made 26 appearances for the club.

Paul Cook was full of praise for Robinson throughout the season and is working hard to sign the left-back and more new faces, ahead of the new campaign which starts on August 3rd.

Admittedly, I wasn’t a massive fan of Robinson in the first part of the season. I remember watching him at Brentford away, Ollie Watkins ran circles around him all day. He looked a rabbit in the headlights, with no defensive abilities at all.

Although he was young and experienced, I thought he’d make a better winger as he’s got electric pace and good delivery into the box.

Injury comeback

The American suffered a leg injury on international duty, since returning he was outstanding. One of our best players in the run-in, without a doubt. He defended much better, read the game well, looked stronger in the tackle and braver to challenge. Just a complete transformation. Maybe I was too quick to judge. However, I think most Wigan fans doubted his defensive capabilities too in the early parts of the season.

It says a lot about his character. The youngster clearly worked hard off the pitch, recognised his frailties and worked to improve his all-around game. Straight away, that’s the sort of players you want at your club. Willing to learn, work hard and improve.

Robinson has the potential to be a very good left-back, the pace he has is frightening. Still only 21, he’ll be a starter next season if this deal does go through, and I expect him to just keep on improving. For £2 million, it’s a steal.

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