Latics have got off to a satisfactory start in their Championship campaign with a narrow defeat at Bristol City followed by a comfortable victory against Blackburn Rovers and a hard fought point against Birmingham City.
The new recruits have already made a good impression with Latics’ fans; in particular young midfielder Alex Gilbey has made a good start to his Wigan career and former loanee Nick Powell has been the pick of the new signings.
The former Manchester United player has the potential to play at the top level, despite never fulfilling his promise at Old Trafford. Gary Caldwell identified Powell as his top summer transfer target and the 22-year-old’s signing could prove to be a masterstroke.
Powell made his first start of the season against Blackburn and made an immediate impact, demanding the ball from his colleagues and starting many of Latics’ best moves.
Powell scored from a superb curled free-kick and was probably Wigan’s best player on the day. He is currently working to improve his fitness levels and if he can get back to full fitness he will have a massive say in the club’s fortunes this season.
Gary Caldwell has continued to strengthen the squad this week with three new signings. Shaun MacDonald has joined from Bournemouth and will add more strength to the midfield. The Wales international comes from a team who play with a similar style to Wigan and his experience will be a bonus.
Former England U21 international Luke Garbutt has signed on loan from Everton until January. The defender has previous experience in the Championship with Fulham and should provide strong competition for the left full-back/wing-back position.
But the biggest news this week was the return of the talismanic Spaniard Jordi Gomez. The creative midfielder was part of the some of the most successful times at Wigan Athletic and his return will give the club a huge boost.
Gomez won the Latics’ Player of the Year award in 2013 and enjoyed five great seasons at the DW Stadium, including of course winning the FA Cup and playing in the Europa League.
Caldwell now has plenty of options in most areas of the pitch. He has added young players with potential and players with Championship and Premier League experience, he has also added extra creativity plus goal scoring ability.
Latics are already building on the momentum from last season and with the new signings and the probable addition of another striker they are now getting much stronger day-by-day.
This article was first published in the 12th Man column for the Wigan Evening Post on Friday 19th August 2016.