Triple signing joy for Latics

James McCarthy

James McCarthy

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WIGAN Athletic stars James McCarthy, Ben Watson and Emmerson Boyce have given Roberto Martinez a triple tonic by putting pen to paper on contract extensions at the DW.

Watson and Boyce had entered the final 12 months of their existing deals, but Watson has agreed to remain a Latic until the summer of 2014 and Boyce until 2013.

McCarthy had almost three years remaining on the deal he signed when joining from Hamilton in the summer of 2009.

But, with reported interest from the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool this summer, Latics have moved swiftly to tie him to a new five-year contract on improved terms to reflect his status as one of the leaders of the team.

“I owe a big debt of loyalty to the club and the gaffer for giving me the chance to prove myself in the Premier League,” said the 20-year-old Republic of Ireland international.

“And I am really pleased to be able to sign this deal.

“I also want to say a big ‘thank you’ to everyone at the club, and also to the Wigan fans, who have been brilliant to me.

“All I want now is to focus on my football, and to do everything I can to help the club keep improving.”

Watson, 26, has been in sensational form since forcing his way back into the team midway through last season.

“I’m looking forward to helping us remain established in the Premier League over the next few years,” he said.

“There’s a real good feeling at the club right now and I enjoy being part of that.

“I’ve really enjoyed my time here and I just want to thank the manager, the club and the supporters for making me feel so welcome.”

At 31, Boyce is the most experienced outfield player in the Wigan side, and is just 11 shy of Paul Scharner’s all-time club record of 145 Premier League appearances.

“I’m delighted to sign for another two years, I’ve enjoyed the best years of my career here,” admitted Boyce,

“There have been many changes during my time here, but it’s a great young squad at the moment that will keep improving.

“Thanks to all the supporters for sticking by me over the years!”

The Wigan boss could not hide his delight at tying up the trio for the foreseeable future.

“It’s part of our strategy to offer and reward players with new contracts in order to look after the future stability of the club,” Martinez admitted.

“We have been talking to several of our players and we are delighted to announce these first three, with hopefully more to come very soon.

“Having players commit their long-term futures provides the platform on which we need to build.”