Wigan's Biggest Summer Transfer Window Needs to Help Get Them Back in the EPL
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From the elation of winning the FA Cup final to the devastation of being relegated from the EPL, it's one week that will live long in the memory of all Wigan fans.
It's common knowledge that manager Roberto Martinez is in demand, and Latics will find it hard to keep his services for the fight to re-join the top flight.
Roberto Martinez confirmed on Wigantoday.net that several players whose contracts expire this summer will be leaving the club.
These include influential defenders Antolin Alcaraz and Maynor Figueroa, as well as striker Franco di Santo and the versatile Ronnie Stam.
Latics are also set to lose their on loan players to their respective parent clubs, including goalkeeper Joel Robles, Angelo Henriquez and fan favourite Paul Scharner.
According to Eleanor Crooks of The Independent, Martinez admits there will be departures, but it won't be as many as six leaving the club, he said:
You wouldn't lose six because that's not realistic. It's nothing to be worried about.
Sometimes when you hear the word relegation it brings a chaotic time internally at the football club, you don't know where you are financially, you expect the worst. At Wigan Athletic this is the best that we've ever been.
Callum McManaman and James McArthur are arguably the two most in-demand players after impressing in a team that struggled in the league.
After a man-of-the-match display at Wembley in Latics' triumph over Manchester City, McManaman was called up by Stuart Pearce to the England Under-21s.
And his performances, especially in the glorious FA Cup run, have caught the eye of many who are tipping him for great success.
Reds boss Brendan Rodgers watched the pair at the Emirates as Wigan's eight-year stay in the EPL came to an end.
The 22-year-old winger showed glimpses of his raw talent when he gave Kieran Gibbs a tough time early on, in the same way that he ran Man City's Gael Clichy ragged throughout the FA Cup final.
Like McManaman, 25-year-old Scottish international McArthur has been one Wigan's best performers this term, and if a bigger club comes in for him, he would find it hard to say no.
One player who seems to be content to remain at Wigan and help them in their bid to come straight back up is midfielder Shaun Maloney.
According to SkySports.com he has a new two-and-a-half-year contract that he signed back in January and is happy at the club.
If Wigan are to cope with the extra fixtures in the Championship, as well as playing in Europe for the first time in the club's history, they will need a big squad.
Keeping as many key players as possible will be crucial, and the 30-year-old Maloney is definitely one of those players.
Apart from the players that are out of contract, Wigan should be able to keep the bulk of their squad.
Top goal scorer Arouna Kone, who has scored 11 goals in the EPL this season, would be a player who may attract several clubs around Europe, and it will be hard to see him playing in the Championship.
With the inevitability of players coming and going, the biggest concern for all Latics fans, and indeed chairman Dave Whelan, will be whether Martinez will stay or go.
The Wigan boss is due for talks with Dave Whelan next week, but he has consistently avoided talking about his future to the media until after their final league match against Aston Villa.
Will Wigan come straight back up?
David Anderson of The Mirror reports that the Spaniard will do what is in the best interest of the club. Martinez said:
On Monday we will celebrate with the FA Cup around the town. Then we will need a few days before sitting down with the chairman next week to decide what's best for Wigan Athletic to move forward.
Looking ahead to next season, Latics will need to buy several defenders since they are set to lose three, as mentioned earlier.
A proven goal scorer will also be necessary, as di Santo is out of contract, and if Kone were to leave, too, Latics will have much to do in the transfer window.
It will be a busy time for whoever is in charge ahead of next season, but it's looking increasingly likely that it won't be Martinez, although I for one would like to see him guide Latics back to the big time.
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