Gary Caldwell made a real statement of intent by recruiting young and hopefully hungry players on transfer deadline day. The manager added four promising young players to his already youthful first team squad.
On a day when it looked like Latics might not sign anyone, they added the 20-year-old central defender Jack Hendry from Partick Thistle on a four-year contract. The highly rated Hendry was wanted by a number of other clubs but Caldwell convinced the former Dundee United youngster to make the move to the DW Stadium.
The 21-year-old full back Andy Kellett signed from Bolton Wanderers on a three-year contract. The defender spent last season on loan at Plymouth Argyle before switching to Manchester United and was a member of the team that went on to win the Under-21 Premier League title.
The 23-year-old attacking midfielder Haris Vuckic joined on a season long loan deal from Newcastle United. The Slovenian international helped Rotherham United to win promotion from League One in 2013/14 and spent last season on loan at Glasgow Rangers scoring 8 goals in 15 appearances.
Watford loanee 21-year-old Sean Murray has impressed the Latics manager during his time at the club and his loan was extended until mid January. Caldwell has indicated that he wants greater competition for places in midfield and Murray fits the manager’s player profile.
Latics have now made 20 new signings in the summer transfer window and it is interesting to note that 14 of the 27-man squad are under-23.
Young players Reece James, Max Power, Francisco Junior, Johnjoe Kenny, Sanmi Odelusi, Donervon Daniels and Jordy Hiwula have already been recruited this summer but there could be more added when the Football League temporary loan window opens on Wednesday 9th September.
Caldwell and his recruitment team have clearly put their faith in youth and believe that these young players will be the future of the club and that they can grow and develop together while making a push for promotion.
Alan Hansen famously said, “You can’t win anything with kids.” He was proved wrong as Manchester United went on to claim a League and Cup double that season. Let’s hope he’s proved wrong again with Gary Caldwell’s young team.
This article was first published in the 12th Man column for the Wigan Evening Post on Friday 4th September 2015.