LATICS legend Arjan de Zeeuw believes his old club are paying a high price for their current position at the foot of the Premier League table.
With 17 games of the campaign to go, Latics remain mired at the bottom following the 1-0 home defeat to Manchester City on Monday night.
Next up for Latics is a trip to fellow strugglers QPR, who look set to spend big in this transfer window after installing Mark Hughes as their new manager.
There is no such war-chest available to Roberto Martinez, however, and De Zeeuw feels his old pal’s attempts to bring in new blood this month will be hampered by their precarious predicament.
“Another negative about being down at the bottom is the effect it has on your recruitment in January,” De Zeeuw told the Evening Post.
“It’s just so, so hard to sign players when you are in such a bad position.
“Anyone considering joining a club at the bottom of the league knows that they could easily be playing in a lower league the following season.
“Players are just not going to take the gamble, they’ll try and stay where they are or join a club who are safe from the drop.
“It will take a hell of a lot of persuasion from Robbie to get them to come, and that will be a massive test between now and the end of the month.
“Despite being an established Premier League team, Wigan still isn’t a particularly big club.
“And, as we found out under Paul Jewell, it’s very, very hard to bring in the players that you really want.”
The latest name to be linked with a move to the DW is Leeds striker Ross McCormack.
The Scottish international, who almost joined Latics four years ago when Steve Bruce was in charge, is believed to have attended Monday night’s clash against City along with his agent.
McCormack’s Elland Road team-mate Adam Clayton is also rumoured to be on the radar, although Bolton and Stoke are monitoring developments.
PATRICK van Aanholt has joined Vitesse Arnhem on loan for the rest of the season. The 21-year-old had only just returned to Chelsea after his season-long loan with Latics was cancelled by mutual consent.
“He is a talented young player who wants to show himself at the highest level,” said Vitesse manager John van den Brom.
EX-LATICS forward Tomasz Cywka, now at Derby, is rumoured to be on the verge of a return to his native Poland with Slask Wroclaw.
LIAM Willis, 18, has joined Accrington Stanley on a free transfer after being released by Latics.