Wat a boost – Cup hero extends stay at Latics

Ben Watson: Latics are set to announce an extended deal for the FA Cup Final hero
Ben Watson: Latics are set to announce an extended deal for the FA Cup Final hero

BEN Watson has given Wigan Athletic a massive boost on the eve of the FA Cup final rematch with Manchester City by agreeing to extend his stay at the DW.

The 28-year-old - Wigan’s goalscoring hero from last season’s never-to-be-forgotten final - is currently sidelined with a double leg break sustained against Barnsley last month.

That setback had put something of a question mark against his Latics future, given his present contract was due to expire in the summer. Talks regarding a new deal had been at an advanced stage before his injury, with Uwe Rosler having stated on several occasions since taking over that he saw Watson as a pivotal figure moving forward.

Watson, too, had intimated he was more than happy to extend his five-and-a-half year tenure at Wigan, and was in superb form before his season was cut short.

The Evening Post understands discussions between player and club have not only continued, but have now reached a successful conclusion.

Chairman Dave Whelan hinted last night that an announcement was imminent. And the deal, believed to be a one-year extension, is expected to be finalised in the next few days - possibly even before Sunday’s FA Cup quarter-final showdown atthe Etihad.

Watson’s name is sure to be sung throughout the game by the sell-out away following of nearly 4,000, and the mood will be even more joyous now he his future is secure.

The former England Under-21 international has made 123 appearances for Latics since being signed by Steve Bruce in January 2009, scoring 19 times.

As well as heading the goal that famously brought the FA Cup to Wigan, Watson was also on the mark in the club’s first-ever European victory, against Maribor, earlier this season.

After recovering from a badly-broken leg in November 2012 to make Wembley history last term, Watson will be hoping for an equally-successful comeback from his latest setback - hopefully with Latics back in the top flight.