Wigan Athletic’s return to Championship might not have been long-lasting, but the Latics, currently, competing in the League One, are the prime promotion candidates following one year’s of absence. They have also stunned the football world by knocking out unstoppable Manchester City from the FA Cup competition and a return to the second tier of English football should be a stroll in the park barring any late slip-ups. The architect of Wigan’s resurgence, however, has been a Manchester United reject who started his career as a forward but flourished in an attacking midfield role under Paul Cook for his current employers.
Nick Powell joined the Latics on a Bosman transfer last season where he had a successful loan spell a couple of years back. Although he could not guide Wigan to escape the relegation, the 23-year-old Englishman has been their most influential figure this term with 12 goals already and orchestrating the flow of the game from a ‘number 10’ role. He is finally living up to his true potential and has found himself on the radar of Aston Villa as well as Celtic FC.
The former England youth international had a short stint at Hull City under Steve Bruce, the current Aston Villa boss, who is hoping for a Premier League return and currently fighting for a ‘top six’ finish to earn a Championship playoff spot.
However, there have been interests from the Glasgow giants Celtic too who are maintaining a sheer dominance in the Scottish football under Brendan Rodgers, the ex-Liverpool boss and are favourites to clinch back to back domestic ‘treble’ winning campaigns. The Hoops will offer him a place in Europe and the profile of Champions League football might lure in the promising starlet. The Villans are hoping for a Premier League return but the profile of English top tier might jeopardize his career growth as well as first-team regularity.
Celtic have not matched their excellence of last season and are in need of attacking reinforcements. Moussa Dembele, the French forward, might be transferred out in summer amid interest from several Premier League outfits, whereas Patrick Roberts, as well as Charly Musonda, are likely to return to their respective parent clubs Manchester City and Chelsea. Odsonne Edouard, the on-loan PSG starlet, has not been able to earn a first-team slot and is uncertain to complete a permanent transfer at the end of this season.
Powell, who started his career as a forward, will be a good addition who will linkup suitably with Leigh Griffiths up front. Also, his ability to perform in multiple attacking roles makes him a proper fit in Brendan Rodgers’ philosophy who will have an additional attacking midfield option alongside Callum McGregor and Tom Rogic.
The move, however, is still at a very premature phase as Wigan are no only concentrating on a Championship return but also are determined of continuing their majestic FA Cup run where they will be hosting Premier League strugglers Southampton at DW Stadium. Nick Powell will be their most significant influence who is determined to conclude the season first achieving the desired objectives.
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