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Fixture News

In opposition: Wigan Athletic - ones to watch

14 January 2022

Wigan Athletic are an in-form outfit with plenty of attacking threats.

Manager Leam Richardson is relying on a number of veteran players who have returned to Wigan Athletic for a second spell in their professional career. These players include the likes of James McClean and Max Power and together, the experienced duo has combined for nine goals and 11 assists across all competitions.

Former Wigan Athletic Youth Academy product Callum Lang leads the Latics with 11 goals this season, followed closely by Will Keane with 10. Keane and Lang have produced 40.3% of the team’s goals, but it may well be the recent signing of Josh Magennis from Hull City that has Richardson and the squad believing they have a chance at being promoted back to the Championship at the end of the season.

Ben Amos has seen most of the action between the sticks this season for the club, starting 22.

 

Will Keane

Once a product of the Manchester United Academy, and later signing his first professional contract with the club in 2011, Will Keane is a player that’s been in both the Championship and Sky Bet League One for the majority of his career.

Though never playing a first team game for Manchester United, Keane did serve several loan spells in his five seasons at Old Trafford, including time with Wigan Athletic, Queens Park Rangers and Preston North End. In 2016, the striker made a permanent move to Hull, appearing in 22 games for the club, while serving out the final months of his contract on loan to Ipswich Town.

He would eventually seal a permanent one-season deal to move to Ipswich (2019-2020) before ultimately making a move to Wigan Athletic. Internationally, the Stockport-born Keane has represented England at U16, U17, U19 and U20 level. However, he would make a switch in order to represent the Republic of Ireland in 2021.

Keane is one of the top goal scorers for the Latics with 10 in all competitions. He also has five assists under his belt. He owns a 34.6% shots on target average to go along with a 2.17 shots per game ratio. He is scoring at a 0.56 goals per shots on target average for the season as well.

 

Callum Lang 

Born in Liverpool, Callum Lang first began his youth career in the Liverpool youth system, before moving to Wigan Athletics’ Academy. After spending four years in the Academy, Lang inked his first professional contract with the Latics in 2017 and first appeared on the bench in May of that year.

Before becoming a regular on the Latics first team starting team sheet, Lang served loan spells with Morecambe, Oldham Athletic, Shrewsbury Town and Motherwell. For both Morecambe and Oldham, he would produce double-digit goals for the clubs.

In 2020, he was loaned to Motherwell of the Scottish Premiership after Wigan entered into administration but would arrive back to the club in January 2021. He went on to score his first senior goal for the club in a 3-3 draw with Rochdale in his first few weeks back at the DW Stadium.

This season, Lane leads all goal scorers for the Latics with 11 across competitions, as well as providing a team second-high matching five assists. He is averaging 0.47 goals per game to go along with a team-high 29 shots on target. He owns a 45.3% shots on target average while also taking an average of 2.72 shots per game. He owns a team-high 1.23 shots on target per game ratio, and is netting 0.38 goals per shots on target this season. Defensively, he has picked up 18 interceptions and 2-0 tackles won.

 

James McClean

Republic of Ireland international James McLean has spent the majority of his club career in England. The winger launched his career with Derry City in the League of Ireland Premier Division. He played three seasons with the club from 2008-11, scoring more than 20 goals in over 80 career appearances.

In 2011, McLean made the transition to the Premier League in England, signing for Sunderland. He spent two seasons with the Black Cats before moving to Wigan Athletic for his first spell with the Latics in 2013. Later stops for McClean include stints with West Bromwich Albion (2015-18) and Stoke City (2018-21), and ultimately signing once again for the Latics in 2021.

For Ireland, he has scored 11 goals in 87 career appearances. For Wigan Athletic in 2021/22, McClean sits third on the squad with six goals scored across all competitions, adding three assists as well. He is averaging 0.54 goals + assists per game, adding to his 51.4% shots on target average for the season. He averages 2.21 shots per game, in addition to 1.13 shots on target per game. His goal scoring average sits at 0.32 goals per shots on target.

 

Max Power

A product of the Tranmere Rovers Youth Academy, Max Power signed on to play for Wigan in 2021.

Power signed his first professional contract with Tranmere in 2011 and played there for four seasons, netting double-figure goals in more than 100 appearances. His first spell at Wigan Athletic came in 2015, when he arrived from Tranmere Rovers, spending the next three seasons at the DW Stadium – in addition to a loan spell during the 2018/19 season at Sunderland.

The following season, he sealed a permanent move to join the Black Cats for the next two seasons until 2021. At Sunderland, Power was directly involved in scoring more than 10 goals for the club, seeing action in over 95 games. He would return to Wigan in the summer of 2021, reuniting with manager Leam Richardson.

This season, in the second year of a two-year deal, Power has played and started in 25 games in midfield. He has scored three goals and registered eight assists for the club.

Power leads all Latics performers with 147 crosses delivered into the box, 28 interceptions in defence, and 25 tackles won. He is averaging 1.04 shots per game out of the midfield, including a 0.60 goals per shots on target ratio.

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