Transfer season is never a fun time for Wigan Athletic fans.
Take January, for example, when Latics lost key players Emile Heskey and Wilson Palacios (and Ryan Taylor, but he was part of a trade for Charles N`Zogbia).
While Steve Bruce did all he could to replace these two in such a short timeframe with imports Mido and Ben Watson the gaps they have left in the side have been noticeable.
But while Wigan Athletic have become used to losing key players, the summer transfer window looks as daunting as ever.
Steve Bruce is as good as gone, and Wigan fans can`t be too sure Paul Scharner and Lee Cattermole won`t be following him, just as Wilson Palacios and Daniel de Ridder followed him to Wigan. As well as this, Eric Black and many of Bruce`s coaching staff will go to Sunderland.
Latics will lose Antonio Valencia. That much is certain. All we can hope for now is we lose him at a reasonable price, and we can use the money we make from him to look for his replacement, possibly Eliseu or Jermaine Pennant.
Eliseu is an exciting Spanish footballer who currently plays for Malaga, while Jermaine Pennant, an extremely talented player from Portsmouth, has major disciplinary problems. Even without these replacements, Daniel de Ridder will probably enjoy more game time with Valencia`s departure.
Amr Zaki will probably never again play for Wigan. A lot of fans will be sad to see him go, though he hasn`t had an impact since the Liverpool game, where he scored an amazing brace, he is Wigan`s top scorer and in the first half of the season set the premier league alight with his goals.
It is due to bad recent form, disciplinary issues and cost that Wigan will not take the risk to sign him again. While a new manager may see the Zaki risk as being worth it, the chances of him staying in Wigan are slim. However, even if he did stay, it would be hard for him to get a place in the team thanks to Mido and Hugo Rodallega.
Maynor Figueroa, who recently became the first Wigan player to ever start every match of the Premier League season, might be going to Tottenham. While this is no more than a rumour at present, Figueroa`s departure would be a sad one for Wigan fans. But if the Honduran does decide to leave, Wigan will have Swedish Erik Edman ready to take his place.
GOING -------- POSSIBLE REPLACEMENT
Steve Bruce ------- Roberto Martinez, Alan Curbishley
Antonio Valencia ------- Eliseu, Jermaine Pennant, Daniel de Ridder*
Amr Zaki -------- Replaced.
Lee Cattermole? -------- Michael Brown*
Paul Scharner? -------- Utility player. No specific replacement.
Maynor Figueroa? -------- Erik Edman*
* Already at the club.
Latics will, as they always have, be able to cope with the loss of players over the transfer window. But many of these players will be sorely missed, as will Steve Bruce. But as the transfer season unfolds, we will see how Wigan goes, and if there are any surprise signings. One thing is for sure, Latics will still be going strong next season, hopefully strong enough to make the UEFA cup.
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