David Sharpe admits keeping hold of Wigan Athletic’s prize assets during the transfer window was as big an achievement as adding proven quality to the squad.
Latics brought in 14 new players before the window slammed shut last week, including the return of former favourites Jordi Gomez and Nick Powell, the permanent signing of ex-England international Stephen Warnock and the loan capture of highly-rated West Ham defender Reece Burke.
A round dozen players left the DW during the same period to balance the books although, crucially, all departed with the blessing of boss Gary Caldwell.
And Sharpe is proud of the fact that, while some Championship rivals were cashing in on want-away stars, Latics managed to retain all of their crown jewels. “Yes that was one of the biggest positives to come out of the window,” he told the Evening Post.
“We have players in the squad who are well known for what they did with us last year in League One - Will (Grigg), Yanic (Wildschut), Max (Power), players like that.
“For them to be settled here, and not have a feeling in their head about leaving for a bigger club, is great.
“Our main objective going into the window at the beginning of the summer was keeping the nucleus of the squad together.
“And that’s what we’ve done - keep our best players here.”
Among the departures were winger Ryan Colclough and centre-back Jack Hendry, who have joined MK Dons on season-long loans.
And Sharpe believes both will return to Wigan as better players.
“Another good thing is we managed to get some good young players out on loan so they can get games,” the Latics chairman added.
“Players like Ryan and Jack, they need games, and they will get that at a good club in League One.
“We had offers from elsewhere, but MK Dons are a great club and the only club we really spoke to. They play a similar style to us, which was very important for us.
“What’s the point of sending out a player to play in a team that plays 4-4-2, direct football?”
“Ryan would just have been stood watching the ball fly over his head.”