Opinion: Recent Bristol City transfer decision should surely peak Wigan Athletic interest
Wigan Athletic are preparing to take on Blackburn Rovers this Monday night as the Lancashire pair compete in a local derby.
This clash will be Shaun Maloney’s first game in charge of the Latics after being appointed Wigan’s new manager late last week.
This comes after the Latics last week announced the surprise sacking of Kolo Toure after he was in charge at DW Stadium for less than two months.
Toure oversaw nine games as Wigan manager and failed to win any of them. They were stuck in the league table and were knocked out of the FA Cup a few weeks ago.
Prior to Maloney’s arrival, Wigan had only managed to bring in centre-back Steven Caulker on a free transfer while they lost Nathan Broadhead on loan, who joined Ipswich Town on a permanent basis, and midfielder Graeme Shinnie, who joined Aberdeen on loan.
So although the new Wigan boss has only been on the job for a few days, he has resigned himself quite well to getting some deals on the line before the 11pm Tuesday deadline.
Wigan brought in Martin Kelly, Omar Rekik and Danel Sinani, all on loan from West Brom, Arsenal and Norwich City.
Now that the window is slammed, Wigan can’t get any more players through the door unless they’re free transfers.
While there might not be many options out there, with their current position in the league and terrible form, Maloney and co. may be wise to enter the free agent market.
Now a recent decision by Bristol City could be an option Wigan are keen to act on as the Robins decided to release striker Chris Martin from his contract, meaning he is now without a club.
Martin has been at Ashton Gate since September 2020 and he has made 95 appearances for the club, scoring 17 goals and providing 11 assists.
Now the 34-year-old is without a club and Wigan could well be a side looking to capitalize on that. Wigan are one of the league’s worst scorers so far this season and despite having attacking options in Will Keane, Charlie Wyke, Josh Magennis and Ashley Fletcher, the Latics could use a little more threat at the top end of the pitch.
Keane is Wigan’s top scorer this season with 10 goals, next up is Broadhead who is no longer with the club and then there are players who have only scored two goals. So it’s easy to see that Wigan haven’t had many players putting the ball in the net this season.
For a player like Martin to be available on a free transfer, adding him to the squad could be a wise decision. Martin is nearing the end of his career but the striker has plenty of league experience and could be a very good option to take off the bench until the end of the season.
In the many years at this level, the 34-year-old has shown that he can be a real asset to any team. He has featured over 400 times in the league, scoring 110 goals and providing 56 assists and with his physical presence and aerial ability he could be a different option to what Wigan currently have.
Of course, Martin wouldn’t work miracles at the club but given the position Wigan is in and Maloney has just taken his first managerial job, the addition of a player like Martin, who has experience and has gone around the block, could be a possibility welcome addition, at least until the end of the season.
Maloney will be aware that Martin has played with him on the international stage for Scotland and considering the Latics are in a dogfight at the bottom end of the table, Martin could well be a player who thrives under the pressure will.