There have been times this season when Latics looked painfully short-staffed, but the days of having a large squad seem to be something we can’t possibly afford any more.
Having said that, there are some players who have been given the opportunity to shine and haven’t taken the chances offered to them. With the retained and released lists due any day, many Latics fans have voiced their opinions on who shouldn’t be at the club next season and two players immediately stand out as being on most people’s lists…
Vera’s only goal this season came in the opening minutes of the game at Macclesfield, when he was the nearest player to the ball when Athletic were awarded a penalty. He wasted no time in grabbing the ball and getting himself on the scoresheet but that, in a nutshell, is about all he can claim to have done this season.
For somebody who has played for Athletic Bilbao, albeit eight years ago he has fallen a long way down the football pyramid and, the Macclesfield game was the only one in which he played the full 90 minutes. At 31 he may still have something to offer but it shouldn’t be at Boundary Park.
Another forward player who has failed to impose himself on the side. His only goal was a tap in against Cheltenham in a 2-0 win back in October last year. He did have opportunities to impress when he was involved in five consecutive games under Frankie Bunn, however, with other players far more deserving of a starting place up front, Benteke was reduced to several substitute appearances.
At only 24 he should be able to find another club but if he can’t make his mark in English League Two football, it is perhaps time for him to return to Belgium or Cyprus where he played earlier in his career.