Martinez set to wheel and deal

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ROBERTO Martinez believes the loan market will once again prove to be very fruitful for Wigan Athletic next season.

Latics did as well as any team last term in terms of loan signings, with Ali Al Habsi and Tom Cleverley both proving to be key players as Latics staved off the threat of relegation.

Premier League teams will once again have only two domestic loan spaces to fill for 2011/12 and, although they can bring in as many as they want from overseas, the Wigan boss is determined to choose wisely.

“The big loan signings, the players we’re looking at bringing in, we’ve been following them for the past six months really,” he told the Evening Post.

“With the big players who will make a difference, you need to be working well in advance – and we have been doing just that.

“The only limitation we have is that we only have two loans from the Premier League, and we have to be spot on with those.

“Anyone can spot a good player, but whether they are good characters as well – and right for your football club – is much harder.

“The loan market has been very important for us this season – Ali Al Habsi and Tom Cleverley have played a massive part in what we achieved.

“We have a clear idea of who we want next season’s loans to be, and we are ready to work hard to get them here.”

Both Al Habsi and Cleverley spoke fondly of their 12 months at Wigan, and Martinez believes that makes Latics an attractive proposition for any club considering loaning out any of their players.

“I hope other managers are aware that when they lend us their player we will look after them,” he added.

“The style of play is up to the manager, and whether he feels that is right for the development of his player.

“But I can guarantee that when any player comes here, we will go out of our way to look after him and make sure he gets what he needs to carry on developing.

“We want players to be happy here at Wigan, and I think if you spoke to Tom or Ali they’ll tell you they enjoyed their time here and have felt a valued member of the squad.”

While bringing Al Habsi back to the DW on a permanent deal remains Martinez’s top priority over the summer, there has also been speculation Manchester United starlet Cleverley may also be back on another season-long loan.

However, such talk has been played down by chief executive Jonathan Jackson.

“Tom has returned to Manchester United having done very, very well for us this season,” Jackson said.

“As for what happens next, I think it will all depend on what Manchester United’s views are at the beginning of next season.

“We’ll have to see how that transpires, but he did very well for us in the Premier League, played around 25 times, and it may be that the time is right for him to step into the United squad.”