Paul Cook has opened the door to sending youngster Leonardo Da Silva Lopes out on loan to gain some much-needed game-time – as long as his Wigan Athletic squad is bolstered this month to cover his absence.
Da Silva Lopes made only his second start for Latics at West Brom on Satuday since joining from Peterborough last summer.
The 20-year-old midfielder, who was born in Lisbon but brought up in the UK, showed some promising touches in the first half before fading and being substituted just before the hour mark.
And Cook admits he’ll have a big part to play for Latics further down the line – although not for the time being.
“Leo’s going to be a good player the kid,” the Latics boss enthused.
“He’s obviously young, but managers are always trying to sign players for today.
“If you don’t sign players with potential, for tomorrow, you’ll never have those players coming through, and you have to think about that.
“He’s probably not ready for where we need him to be right now, in terms of playing in the Championship.
“But in time he will be a good player.”
When asked whether Da Silva Lopes – who has been linked with a loan move to League One – would be farmed out to gain experience, Cook revealed his dilemma.
“We’ll have to wait and see on that one,” said Cook, who is waiting to learn the severity of the hamstring injury sustained by Sam Morsy last week and the thigh problem picked up by Darron Gibson in the warm-up at the Hawthorns.
“We’re not overly blessed with options in that area because of injury.
“So to be talking about people going out on loan wouldn’t be something we’d be looking to do now.”
Cook is hopeful of bringing in reinforcements in defence, midfield and attack this month, although he is playing his cards close to his chest for now.
“It’s pointless me speaking about transfer windows, same as injured players, because they can’t help me,” Cook added.
“All we can do is wait and see what happens on that front.
“It’s up to us to find the solutions within our dressing room.
“There’s no excuses to be had about budgets, squad strength, injuries, suspensions.
“The only thing that matters is making sure we stay in this division.”
Forwards Nick Powell and Michael Jacobs are back out on the grass at Euxton and hoping to be back in action later this month after respective hamstring injuries.
American international left-back Antonee Robinson is also scheduled to return from an ankle operation in the middle of next month.