ROBERTO Martinez will be reflecting on what might have been after an eventful but ultimately frustrating deadline day.
Yesterday had started well, with Paul Scharner sealing his loan return to Wigan to provide valuable cover in both defence and midfield.
But the Wigan manager’s attempts to further strengthen fell agonisingly short.
The biggest disappointment was Aiden McGeady, who at one point looked like he would be arriving from Spartak Moscow for a club-record transfer fee.
It’s believed Latics dug deep to fund a package that would have made the Ireland winger the best-paid player in the club’s history, only for the deal to fall through at the 11th hour.
Wigan then saw a bid accepted for Barnsley’s young full-back John Stones, only for the player to opt instead for a move to Everton.
And despite burning the midnight oil, Latics ran out of time in their attempts to get one of several possible deals over the final finishing line.
“We identified a number of targets, we knew who we wanted, and we didn’t want to just bring in anyone,” admitted Martinez.
“Overall though I am happy with the four players we have brought in and feel we are in good shape for the rest of the season.”
Scharner took the number of incomings to four, following the earlier arrivals of Roger Espinoza, Angelo Henriquez and Joel Robles, with only Mauro Boselli going out.
And with Antolin Alcaraz, Albert Crusat and Ryo Miyaichi expected back from injury this month, the squad has a far stronger look than at the turn of the year.
Defender Rob Kiernan has re-joined League One Brentford on loan until the end of the season.
Gordon Strachan’s first Scotland squad for next week’s friendly against Estonia includes Shaun Maloney, James McArthur and Gary Caldwell, who is expected to captain the side.