It was a tough 18 months for Wigan as they were cruelly plunged into administration amidst a late playoff charge under Paul Cook in the 20/21 season before being relegated and fighting for their future.
Now, they’re looking to consolidate themselves in the second tier after an impressive title winning campaign under Leam Richardson.
Similar to recent years, the Latics won’t have the biggest budget but their recruitment has always been impressive and that’s been no different in the last 12 months.
But it will be a tough season, as it always is for teams coming from League One and they will still need to strengthen before the start of the season if they are to finish above the bottom three for the coming campaign.
There’s a strong. hard working core at the heart of this Wigan side and those values will need to continue going into next season as Richardson looks to formulate plans over pre-season.
One or two players could be picked off before the start of the season, but while they remain in the North-West, they will most certainly get into Wigan’s strongest starting XI.
With that in mind, here’s who we think makes Wigan’s strongest starting XI.
As mentioned already, the team has a work ethic that will be difficult to match in most games which will make them a difficult team to breakdown next season.
The only question marks you could have of this starting XI is if there’s enough Championship quality in the side. Goalkeeper is one area that will need strengthening but Ben Amos is the best option for now.
Tendayi Darikwa was ever present for Wigan and deserves another chance in the Championship after his Nottingham Forest spell was littered with injuries. Jack Whatmough will continue in the defence with Jason Kerr coming into the team to add some much needed composure to the back line. Joe Bennett completes the defence as his experience will be vital at left-back next season.
Max Power and Tom Naylor provide the cover in midfield and offer a tough, protective shield in front of the back four as well as some much needed creativity through Power.
James McClean will continue from the left as even now at 33, his delivery will be difficult to cope with in the Championship, especially with Josh Magennis as his target. Will Keane provides support as a second striker as his 26 goals last season justifies his place in this XI, along with Callum Lang who has proved a versatile attacker, picking up 22 goal contributions last season.
As mentioned already, Wigan will need to strengthen, but they have a solid spine and a hardworking group who will be a difficult team to break down next season.