Wigan Athletic may be wise turning to ex-Crystal Palace striker to bolster attack: Opinion | OneFootball

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Football League World

·12 September 2023

Wigan Athletic may be wise turning to ex-Crystal Palace striker to bolster attack: Opinion

Article image:Wigan Athletic may be wise turning to ex-Crystal Palace striker to bolster attack: Opinion

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Wigan Athletic have made a good start to the League One season considering the circumstances they were under.

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The Latics started the campaign with a points deduction of minus eight, meaning they had already started the campaign on the back foot.

However, Shaun Maloney managed to pull the squad together, and they quickly went from minus points to plus points.

Out of their six league games, Wigan have won three of them, with one a demolition of their local rivals, Bolton Wanderers.

But results have stuttered of late; losing their last two, they have slipped back into the relegation zone, sitting on two points.

But given where they were a few months ago and the amount of changes the club has had to make to the playing squad, it is a credit to Maloney to get them to where they are now.

The Scot had to use the free agent market in the summer, as it was that and loans that they used to bulk up their squad, and it is the free agent market that Wigan should look to again even with the transfer window shut.

One player who is in this category and could potentially be a good buy for Wigan is former Crystal Palace and most recent Cardiff City striker Connor Wickham.

What is Connor Wickham’s current situation?

Wickham currently finds himself without a football club, as the 2023/24 season is well underway.

This isn’t the first time the forward has found himself without a club in recent years, as his injuries have made his career a bit of a stop-start as of late.

At the start of this year, Wickham was on the books at Forest Green Rovers, but he left after his contract came to an end.

He then signed for Cardiff in February and stayed with them until the end of last season, scoring once in 12 appearances.

He has been without a club since then, but given his age and the fact he has performed well in League One before, Wickham could be a useful player to add to Wigan’s squad for this season.

The Latics do have considerably good options at the top end of the pitch, but with one or two of them being similar types of players, adding someone like Wickham could offer them something different.

Wickham has the ability to lead the line on his own, as he has shown in the past to have good hold-up play. While he is also capable of drifting to either side and causing havoc with his pace.

The 30-year-old doesn’t have much experience in League One, but when he has played in the league, he has performed well, as shown in his recent spell with Forest Green, who were bottom of the table.

In his 16 league games for them, he managed to score six goals, but his all-round game showed he is a very capable forward at this level. He averaged two shots per game in those appearances, with the forward also showing his presence by being fouled 0.9 times, as per WhoScored.com.

Wickham wasn’t involved much in the general play, as Forest Green weren’t a side that dictated football games, but he averaged 18.6 passes, with 62% being successful and 0.7 being considered key passes.

Despite being a forward, Wickham wasn’t afraid of doing the dirty work as well, with him averaging 0.9 tackles per game, 1.4 clearances, and 0.2 blocks. His time at Fores Green saw him pick up a 6.68 WhoScored.com match rating.

Wickham may not be a player that too many Wigan fans will get excited about, but given that he is a free agent and could probably sign a deal until the end of the season, it seems like a smart move for the club to bring him in.

Once up to full fitness, he could offer something different from their current options, and he could prove to be as clinical in front of goal as he was at Forest Green. Wigan could just do with another option at the top end, and Wickham seems to be a perfect fit.

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