Waiting game for Caldwell

Gary Caldwell
Gary Caldwell

Gary Caldwell admits this summer has been one of patience for Wigan Athletic in the transfer market.

The Latics boss has already added seven players - Stephen Warnock, Alex Gilbey, Dan Burn, Kyle Knoyle, Nick Powell, Adam Bogdan and Jake Buxton - to his group.

But he admitted earlier this week he was hoping to add ‘a few more’ new faces this week.

Intriguingly, when the Latics squad numbers were announced earlier this week, numbers 10 and 11 were left vacant, hinting that a couple of frontline additions are still being chased.

But Caldwell is well aware that the landscape has changed from last year, when he had first pick of all his top targets given Wigan’s relative size in League One.

“It’s more difficult this summer,” he told the Evening Post. “But I still believe we’re an appealing club that players will want to come to and be a part of.

“They’ll have seen the group we have, and the spirit we created last season, and I’m sure a lot of players will want to come and be a part of that.

“Having said that, I can see financially we might have to be a bit more patient than last year.

“We’re in with the big fish now, and we’re going to have to show a lot of fight in terms of offering players what other clubs can’t.

“Last year we had the financial power over the rest of the league, this year we don’t - and we’re going to have to deal with that.

With almost a month remaining until the transfer window, Caldwell is looking to bring in reinforcements across the board.

Right-back is perhaps his most pressing concern, with Knoyle having broken his elbow within days of joining Latics last month, and Donervon Daniels nursing a knee injury.

Luke Burke, 18, has stepped in admirably during the warm-up matches, and Caldwell has already admitted he’s have no qualms in pitching last season’s Academy Player of the Year into a dramatic debut this weekend at Bristol City.

However, Latics have also been strongly linked with a move for Sheffield United’s John Brayford, who first appeared on the radar three years ago when Owen Coyle was in charge.

Caldwell is also looking to bolster the midfield, especially if Leeds follow up their interest in Wales international Emyr Huws.

Former favourite Jordi Gomez is still a live target, although he is still negotiating a pay-off from the final 12 months of his deal at Sunderland.

And Millwall striker Lee Gregory is also understood to be high on Caldwell’s wishlist, with the future of Craig Davies - the only other senior striker on the books - unclear after his squad number was switched from No.10 to No.21.

“There’s still a lot we want to get done - we still need fresh faces in the building,” Caldwell added.

“And everyone’s working very hard to try and do that.

“The players we’ve got, we know the great quality they have, and they’re all physically looking even better than they were last year.

“The improvement has been seen by all the staff.

“But we still have to strengthen, and we still have to be better come the first day of the season.”