Wigan Athletic have announced the signing of Chelsea defender Dujon Sterling on loan ahead of the start of the new Championship season.
The 19-year-old right-back has moved to the DW Stadium until the end of the season, having gained his first experience of regular first-team football during a temporary move to Coventry City last season. During his spell at the Ricoh Arena, Sterling made 40 appearances in all competitions to help the Sky Blues to an eighth-place finish in League One, and will now make the step up to the Championship for the coming campaign.
Speaking to the club’s official website following confirmation of the deal, Sterling said: “It’s good to finally get everything over the line, it’s been a long few days, but it’s all worth it and hopefully I can get started as soon as possible.
Sterling isn’t the first Chelsea right back to spend time on loan at Wigan, with Reece James excelling in that role for Paul Cook’s side last season, and the Latics’ latest recruit admitted that his teammate’s performances were a factor in his move to the North West, adding: “Obviously I saw what Reece James did here last season, so I think Wigan is the right place for me to come and show off my qualities.
“I heard really good things about the gaffer here and he loves giving young players opportunities. I just want to learn from him and hopefully he can make me a better player.”
With confirmation of Sterling’s arrival, Wigan have now completed five signings in the summer transfer window, with goalkeeper David Marshall, left-back Antonee Robinson and midfield duo Lewis Macleod and Joe Williams all joining the club on permanent deals.
I think this could prove to be a really good signing for Wigan.
Defence was an issue at times for the Latics last season, and with Nathan Byrne the club’s only recognised right-back following James’ return to Chelsea, it does seem to make sense to strengthen in that position.
While there will be questions over whether Sterling can match the impact that James had, the fact that the former has previously had that spell in regular football with Coventry could actually stand him in better stead than his predecessor, who was enjoying his first spell in first-team football at the DW Stadium.
It will of course be interesting to see how Sterling performs in comparison to James over the course of the season, and you feel it could prove to be crucial to Wigan’s hopes of Championship survival again next season.