Wigan Athletic boss Paul Cook has called Nick Powell “one of the most talented players” he’s ever managed, as he prepares his side to face Stoke City on Saturday afternoon.
Powell is obviously no stranger to Wigan fans, having made a total of 99 appearances for the Lancashire outfit after arriving from Manchester United in 2016.
The 25-year-old played an influential role in helping the Latics win promotion from League One in 2017, scoring 15 goals in a total of 45 games.
The attacking midfielder scored eight goals and produced six assists for Cook’s side last season, as they avoided immediate relegation back down to the third tier.
But upon the expiry of his contract at the DW Stadium, Powell left Wigan and joined Stoke on a free transfer in the summer, however his time at the bet365 Stadium hasn’t been the greatest since.
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The midfielder has made just three appearances for the Potters due to injury, and has been unable to help Stoke climb out of the relegation zone.
But speaking ahead of his side’s trip to Staffordshire this weekend, Cook admitted that Powell is one of the most talented players he has ever managed, ahead of Saturday’s reunion.
Via Wigan Today, he said: “Am I looking forward to renewing acquaintances with Powelly? I always look forward to seeing Nick!”
“He is without doubt one of the most talented players I’ve ever worked with. In terms of technical ability, his natural football ability, what Nick sees on a football field, other players do not see.
“He is an absolute elite level footballer who, for whatever reason – and injuries have played their part – his appearance record over the years probably hasn’t been good enough.
“That’ll be as disappointing for Nick as much as anyone. But in terms of talent, you look at the Championship, and you won’t find a more talented player in this division.”
Stoke sit three points adrift of safety in the Sky Bet Championship table, four points and three places below the Latics.
There is no doubting Powell’s ability – he is undoubtedly one of the most creative playrs in the division on his day.
It’s a shame that injuries have really hampered his game-time, and he would have been desperate to play this weekend.
Stoke have plenty of other talented players who Wigan should be wary of, though, and they will be desperate to build on the win at Barnsley.