Trio recruited on crazy deadline day

Leon Clarke
Leon Clarke

WIGAN Athletic enjoyed treble delight on deadline day with the captures of Sheyi Ojo, Gaetan Bong and Leon Clarke taking the total number of transfer-window incomings to seven.

Highly-rated Ojo, a 17-year-old winger, arrives on loan from Liverpool until the end of the campaign.

He was followed later in the day by 26-year-old Bong, a Cameroon international left-back who has been training with Latics for the past week.

And then, with seconds left before the 11pm deadline, Latics swooped to land Wolves striker Clarke on loan until the summer.

The arrival of Clarke paved the way for Andy Delort to make a loan return to French club Tours, the forward having failed to settle in England since his deadline-day capture five months ago.

Delort’s exit took the total number of transfer-window departures to 10, with Fraser Fyvie joining Hibernian after having his Latics contact cancelled earlier in the day.

New-boy Bong was recently released by Greek outfit Olympiakos, and is relishing the opportunity to kickstart his career in England.

“I’m happy to have found a solution for my career because things became a bit difficult for me in Greece, where I wasn’t really playing,” he told the Evening Post.

“Every footballer wants to play, and you have to be flexible and look at the opportunities when they come.

“I know Wigan from the FA Cup victory - everyone in football knows that - so when I got the chance to come and train here, I said, why not?

“I have never played in England and it is a league I wanted to try

“I like the atmosphere at the club, the other players, the manager, and when the offer came, I thought this was a chance to try and get some match time.

“I know I have to compete for my shirt, that is good, every team has that.

“And for me, the position of the club is a challenge not something to be frightened about.

“I come here to help save the club, that will be good for the club, and if I get the chance to play, that will be good for me too.

“Hopefully, everybody will be happy and then we see what happens in the summer.”

Ojo, too, can’t wait to get going at the DW, with Malky Mackay having used his ties with his Liverpool counterpart Brendan Rodgers - with whom he worked at Watford - to secure the deal.

“Being so young I’d like to thank Malky for giving me this chance,” said Ojo.

“I know he and Brendan have spoken a lot about me coming here, and that’s a big compliment.

“Coming here on loan is a very good move for me, and I want to repay the faith both managers have had in me.

“I’m looking forward to the prospect of being around the first team here at Wigan.

“I’ve been training with the first team at Liverpool a lot this season, so it has given me that taste and desire to stay around the environment.

“I’m hoping to learn a lot whilst I’m here. I think being around the first-team environment and learning new things from the staff here is really going to benefit me.

“The whole experience is very exciting for me and I can’t wait to start working with the team.

“My style is very direct and I love to get forward. I’m comfortable dribbling with the ball and I’ve always used my pace to my advantage.

“I like to try and create as much as possible for my team-mates, and hopefully I can chip in with some goals too when I get the chance.”

Bong and Ojo were followed in the nick of time by Clarke, and the trio join Chris Herd, Liam Ridgewell, Jason Pearce and Billy Mckay in the arrivals lounge this month.

And with the emergency loan window due to re-open shortly, Latics are expected to bring in further reinforcements after being thwarted in their efforts to bring in Leeds United’s midfield enforcer Rudy Austin.