JAMES McArthur reckons Wigan Athletic are on the verge of something big – if they can keep hold of their crown jewels this summer.
The likes of Victor Moses and James McCarthy are sure to once again be the subject of transfer speculation, while Aston Villa, West Brom and Liverpool are believed to be eyeing up boss Roberto Martinez.
McArthur accepts interest from rival clubs is inevitable given Wigan’s tremendous form towards the end to the campaign.
But he has called on the powers-that-be to do everything they can to ward off unwanted enquiries.
“Last year we finished with two wins in a row for the first time under the manager, and this time it was three so you can see the progression that we’re making as a football club,” McArthur told the Evening Post.
“Seven wins from the last nine games shows you the quality we have at the club, and I suppose we’re wondering why we haven’t finished even higher up the table.
“Next year the challenge will be to build on this, and I’m sure we can.
“To do that, we’ll need to start in exactly the same fashion as we’ve finished the season and there’s no reason why we can’t do that.
“The important thing is to try to keep the squad together and build on it rather than see it broken up.
“And I’m sure the chairman will be doing everything he can to make sure that’s the case.”
McArthur enjoyed a tremendous end to the campaign since winning back his spot at the start of February.
But the 24-year-old will not be able to put his feet up for a few weeks yet.
The midfielder, along with team-mates Gary Caldwell and Shaun Maloney, will play for Scotland against the USA in Jacksonville on May 26.
And three weeks later he’ll be undertaking a charity bike ride from Carlisle to Glasgow.
“My uncle, a friend and myself are making the journey between Carlisle and Glasgow to raise money and awareness for Yorkhill Hospital in Glasgow for Sick Children,” McArthur revealed.
“It’s a hospital that took very good care of me when I was young and had to go there for an operation.
“I couldn’t digest food properly as a child, and they helped me make a full recovery for which I’ve always been very grateful.
“They’ve helped so many other children in Scotland, and I want to help them now and see how much we can raise.
“I’m also selling my shirts, signed, from the games against Arsenal, Liverpool and Newcastle United. So far we’ve raised around £1,500-1,600 with more coming in. I’ve said if we get to £4,000 then I’ll put in £1,000 myself, so hopefully we can reach that target.”