New faces for Latics

Latics training
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WIGAN Athletic arrived in Germany on Sunday morning for their first training camp of the summer with a couple of new faces following a whirlwind weekend of activity.

Latics swooped for Newcastle defender James Tavernier and Osasuna striker Oriol Riera within the space of a few minutes on Saturday afternoon.

And both men were in the Latics party that flew to Germany for a week of solid fitness work that will lay the foundations for the rest of pre-season.

As revealed in Friday’s Wigan Evening Post, Latics won the race to land Tavernier, who rose to prominence during a successful loan spell with Rotherham last term that saw the Millers win promotion to the Championship.

Tavernier, who had one year remaining on his Newcastle contract, penned a three-year deal for an undisclosed fee, and immediately set his sights on facing his former club in the top flight.

“Wigan Athletic are a Premier League club and I’ve always known them to be a Premier League club and hopefully I can help to help get us back where we belong,” said the 22-year-old, who was with Leeds as a schoolboy before joining the Newcastle academy.

“Leeds and Newcastle are obviously big clubs and going into another big team like Wigan is great for me.

“The club have the same mentality and desire for success. I’m very happy. It’s a new chapter in my career now and I can’t wait to put on the Wigan shirt and show the fans and the manager what I can do.”

No sooner had the ink dried on Tavernier’s contract, Latics were announcing another capture - this time from La Liga.

Riera, who scored 13 goals in 37 games last term, was hot property after Osasuna’s relegation from the top flight.

And the 27-year-old, who came through the ranks at Espanyol with a certain Jordi Gomez, plumped for Latics despite interest from a host of other suitors.

“I am really pleased to become a Wigan Athletic player,” Riera said.

“Jordi spoke really highly of everyone here and that makes me excited to get started.”

The double swoop takes the number of new faces at Wigan this summer to four, following the arrivals of Andrew Taylor and Aaron Taylor-Sinclair earlier this month.

And boss Uwe Rosler could not hide his delight at his latest transfer business.

“Both signings definitely add something to the squad that we did not have previously and I am looking forward to working with the pair of them, said Rosler.

“James fits into the type of player we want to bring here.

“He is young, vibrant, full of energy and determined to progress with us.

“In Oriol we have a proven goalscorer who has signed for us within our pay structure in the Championship and for the right fee.

“It was a complicated deal which took a lot of negotiation and the chairman also played a pivotal role.”