Roberto wants new faces

Wigan manager Roberto Martinez at Swindon
Wigan manager Roberto Martinez at Swindon

ROBERTO Martinez has double reason to intensify his recruitment drive after an eventful weekend both on and off the field.

Latics crashed out of the FA Cup at the hands of League Two outfit Swindon on Saturday, deservedly so after an extremely poor performance at the County Ground.

Martinez made nine changes to his line-up, and will have been sufficiently under-whelmed after several of his fringe first-teamers blew their big chance to impress.

Only young guns Callum McManaman and Jordan Mustoe will have improved their standing on a forgettable afternoon, which could exacerbate the Wigan boss’ need for reinforcements this month.

Just hours before the game, Latics confirmed Patrick van Aanholt has returned to Chelsea after having his season-long loan cancelled by mutual consent.

And Martinez admitted left-back is not the only position he’ll be looking to strengthen between now and February 1. “Patrick has gone back to Chelsea, and now we need to finalise a couple of options that we are currently looking into,” Martinez told the Evening Post.

“Left-back is obviously one of the positions we will be looking at, although it is by no means the only one.

“It means we have now got our full quota of two domestic loans available to us again, but we need to wait to ensure we get exactly the right players that we need to improve the squad.”

The departure of Van Aanholt did not exactly come as a huge shock, with the Dutchman not having featured in the first team since October 1.

After discussions between Latics, Chelsea and the player himself, it was agreed that a termination of the loan deal was in the best interests of all parties.

And the Dutchman hinted via his Twitter account that his stay in the north west had not been the most enjoyable period of his career.

“Finally arrived back Home want to thank all THE Wigan fans that believed in me,” he said.

Meanwhile, Martinez is hopeful the calf problem that curtailed Shaun Maloney’s involvement at Swindon on Saturday is not serious.

The Scot, making a rare start, was lying on the pitch awaiting treatment when Town’s winning goal went in, having picked up the problem in an innocuous manner with no other player near him.

Maloney was unable to continue and was replaced by Victor Moses for the closing stages, but Martinez is not expecting the news to be too severe.

“Shaun has picked up a soft-tissue problem that we will assess, but it doesn’t look too serious which is good news,” he added.

“We’ll know more over the next 24 hours but I think he’ll be okay.”