The 2019/2020 season has been a rollercoaster thus far for Wigan Athletic, who are yet to confirm their safety for next season.
Wigan haven’t made life easy for themselves in their second season back in the Sky Bet Championship and once again find themselves flirting with the idea of relegation back to England’s third tier. However, Paul Cook has got the Latics playing some good football in recent weeks which has seen them go unbeaten in five, including an impressive victory over promotion-chasing West Bromwich Albion.
Here, we look at who will play a crucial role in ensuring that the Latics remain in the division for the third consecutive season…
Welsh international Kieffer Moore has been a hit at the DW Stadium this season. The striker is currently the club’s joint top scorer with Chey Dunkley with six goals, but he has also registered four assists so far this year.
This tells you everything needed to understand about Moore’s game as he is not necessarily the type of striker to score twenty goals every single season and there are many layers to his game that bring the best out of those around him, which is why he is an important cog in the Wigan Athletic wheel.
One of Moore’s best qualities this season has been his ability to receive a ball and make it stick. At times, Wigan have gone direct this year to try and force the issue and create more goalscoring opportunities and Moore is the first target. Often a clipped ball into the tall centre-forward is well controlled with Moore often successfully finding a teammate who is offering support. This allows Wigan to get the best out of Gavin Massey and Jamal Lowe on either side.
In recent years Moore has shown his ability in finding the net and this year has been no different. Moore had a productive loan spell with Rotherham United before joining Barnsley and firing them to promotion from Sky Bet League One. It was this form that persuaded Paul Cook to bring him to Lancashire in the summer of 2019 with the Welshman in the process of repaying the trust shown in him by Cook. The striker has can be lethal in the box with his clever movement to earn himself time and space to fire an attempt on goal.
Any player that is linked to a European powerhouse in the January transfer window is good enough to make this list. The American left-back was close to joining Italian side AC Milan in the early stages of 2020, but the move fell through due to an insufficient amount of time left in the window for the full-back to complete his medical. When a move to a club such as AC Milan comes about, it must suggest that Robinson is doing something right both domestically and internationally.
He has been so influential for Paul Cook’s side this season providing quality both offensively and defensively. First and foremost, Robinson is a defender and unlike the modern wing-back he prioritises his defensive duties. The fact that Robinson only produces on average 2.8 long balls per game suggests that Wigan side are evolving to play a more pragmatic style of football and are becoming a side who feel comfortable with playing out from the back.
Should Robinson complete a dream move in the summer to a European giant, Wigan shall certainly feel the hole that he has filled since arriving at the DW Stadium from Everton on a permanent basis in the summer of 2019