Gary Caldwell is backing Will Grigg to take his fabulous club form into this summer’s Euros in France – before proving himself a Championship star next term.
Grigg’s 28 goals – including 25 in the league – played a major role in Latics winning the League One title this term.
The 24-year-old is hoping to have done enough to be named in the Northern Ireland training squad for the European Championships, which is named shortly.
And Caldwell says a trip to the finals in France would be no more than he’s deserved for a phenomenal campaign.
“Will’s been fantastic,” acknowledged the Latics boss. “He had a slow start, I think he’ll be the first to admit that, but it’s always difficult coming for a big fee to a new club.
“Once he got going and started scoring goals, there was no stopping him.
“To coin the famous phrase, he’s been on fire! And I think he’s somebody that can score goals at any level, because his movement is fantastic and he is a finisher.
“This team, as he has rightly pointed out, has created so many chances for him, but he’s been there to put it in the net.
“And it’s not just his goals – it’s the all-round play and the ability to create chances that has been impressive.”
Grigg was left out of the Northern Ireland squad over the Easter period to concentrate on his club commitments.
But 20 goals in the last 21 games of Wigan’s season have proved he’s bang in form.
“For me, he’s got to go,” said Caldwell. “He’s someone who’s in form and scoring goals.
“If Northern Ireland have got better strikers than him then I’d like to see them, because he is somebody that I believe can be a real asset for them at the Euros.”
And after completing his third promotion-winning campaign in a row from League One – following success at Brentford in 2014 and, last season, on loan at MK Dons – Caldwell believes Grigg will finally prove himself in the Championship next term.
“He has to step up his game that little bit to compete at the Championship level,” added Caldwell.
“But he’s got all the attributes to be a success at that level.
“We believe in him, which I think’s important. Maybe at other clubs he didn’t get that, but we believe in and back him to score the goals.”
Meanwhile, Latics midfielder Emyr Huws, who spent this season on loan at Championship side Huddersfield, has been named in the 29-man Wales training squad for the Euros.