Football League World
·6 September 2023
Football League World
·6 September 2023
Following a tumultuous 12 months which saw their owner not pay the wages on time on multiple occasions, Wigan Athletic are settling back to life in League One after having to start on minus eight points.
The Latics were punished for their former owners misdemeanours, with new chief Mike Danson having to steady the ship at the DW Stadium after he saved the club from potential doom.
Whilst Wigan currently sit in 20th position, they have picked up 10 points and now sit on a positive number, with wins coming over Derby County, Northampton and rivals Bolton Wanderers, although back-to-back defeats have come against Barnsley and Blackpool going into the international break.
The transfer window is now closed and attentions may well now turn to some of the players at the club who have less than one year remaining on their contracts.
Let’s take a look at the EIGHT Wigan players that at this moment in time will be leaving the club with their deals expiring in June 2024.
After spending the entirety of his early career in Scotland, centre-back Kerr joined Wigan in 2021 from St. Johnstone when they were a League One club, playing 34 times in all competitions and ending up being a big part of why they eventually won the league.
Unfortunately, the 26-year-old’s 2022-23 campaign took a disastrous turn in November of last year when he suffered a serious knee injury, which has kept him on the sidelines ever since.
Humphrys was seemingly on the fringes of the Wigan setup last year when he was shipped out on loan to Hearts, but he has found a place back in Shaun Maloney’s plans.
Naturally a striker, Humphrys has found a spot in the starting 11 starting on the right flank in a 4-2-3-1 and has already scored twice in League One, and good performances could end up earning him a new deal.
Since signing from Rangers in 2021, Jones hasn’t had much success at the DW Stadium.
The Northern Ireland international winger has played just 17 times in all competitions since his arrival two years ago, with loan stints back in Scotland with St Mirren and Kilmarnock.
Jones has managed to find his way into Maloney’s plans though, with his first appearance for the club since January 2022 coming against Barnsley last week.
The return of the prodigal son happened over the summer when McManaman - who played in the Premier League for the Latics - signed a one-year deal.
Despite being out of the game for a year before his comeback after a disappointing spell with Tranmere Rovers, McManaman sure re-announced himself with a wonder goal against Northampton to win the match, showing that his class is still there.
Wyke has had somewhat of a heroic comeback since he suffered from a cardiac arrest in training in November 2021.
Naturally, it took a while for the striker to get back to full fitness, with just 18 Championship appearances last season, but he has started the 2023-24 campaign in League One in fine fettle, with five goals in six matches.
A new contract offer must surely be in the works for the target man, who is as good as any striker at third tier level.
Now aged 33, Magennis is likely going to be Wyke’s understudy this season and an option off the bench.
The veteran forward scored just the once in the Championship last season, with his effectiveness in-front of goal waning.
Left-back Pearce missed a large chunk of last season through injury, restricted to just 13 appearances in the Championship.
He is making up for lost time though, bagging three assists already in six League One matches as he looks to provide a threat down the left-hand side of the pitch.
A Latics academy graduate, Smith is only now emerging as an option in midfield as a 22-year-old.
The midfielder made his debut in the EFL Cup in the 2021-22 season against Hull City but he had to wait another 20 months for his league debut in April 2023.