This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
According to reputable journalist Alan Nixon, Wigan Athletic are interested in signing Nottingham Forest defender Tendayi Darikwa this summer.
The 27-year-old was a regular for the Reds last season, making 31 appearances in all competitions despite strong competition from Sam Byram and Saidy Janko for a place at right-back.
The former Chesterfield man also looks set to start the new season as Forest’s first-choice right-back, with no real backup options on the club’s books at present, but Wigan are now believed to be interested in a swoop.
According to Nixon, the Latics have made an enquiry for the defender, as they look to replace former Chelsea loanee Reece James who had a phenomenal season last time out.
The 19-year-old was named in the Championship Team of the Year last term, but it seems as if Latics boss Paul Cook could be on the lookout for an experienced option this time around.
Here, we discuss whether Darikwa would be a good signing for Wigan…
“This could be a very good addition for Wigan heading into the new season and Paul Cook would probably see it as a coup to get the Forest right-back on board.
“It’s clearly a position that Cook wants to strengthen this summer, with there being a link with Alan Hutton this summer too.
“In my eyes, Darikwa would be the better addition for the Latics – he is 27 and hitting his peak, whilst he has just as much pedigree at this level than someone like Hutton.
“He’s not hit the heights expected of him at Forest, but management changes often lead to that. A fresh start at Wigan, working under a boss like Cook, could be a great move.”
“This would be a logical signing from the Latics. I could see Darikwa fitting in well with Paul Cook’s system.
“Cook has a big task on his hands to fill the void left by Chelsea loanee Reece James, who was outstanding for the Latics last season. But Darikwa is a similar mould of player in that he is brimming with pace and energy, while he is versatile along the right flank.
“The Wigan boss likes his full-backs to contribute going forward, and Darikwa’s attributes mean he would certainly be capable of executing this. It also comes as a bonus that Darikwa has Championship experience, so there are a host of reasons why he would appeal to the Latics.
“I think it would be a strange decision from Forest to let him go, given that he is the only recognised right-back on the club’s books at present. But if Wigan can tempt the Reds into doing business, they would get a solid addition to the squad.”
“I think that Darikwa is a player who has really divided opinions amongst the Forest faithful over the last couple of years, but I think that he would be a very good recruit for Paul Cook’s side.
“Obviously, Reece James has left massive shoes to fill at the DW Stadium, and it will be hard to find a player who is as composed, mature and versatile as he was.
“But in Darikwa, they would be getting a player who is experienced, is at a good age, and loves to get forward and attack, and he often shows so much athleticism down the right flank.
“I can’t see Forest getting rid of him whilst they don’t really have any cover at right-back, but he would be a shrewd signing for the Latics in my view.”