Pompey captain joins Wigan Athletic rebuild
Tom Naylor has revealed a promotion pep-talk from Leam Richardson convinced him to join the Wigan Athletic revolution.
The 29-year-old midfielder, who played in all 53 of Pompey’s games last season, had been offered a new deal at Fratton Park.
But he has elected to move on for one final challenge in his career.
Naylor had been close to joining his hometown club Mansfield and manager Nigel Clough, with whom he’d previously worked at Derby County.
But after completing a medical with the League Two outfit – run by former Latics chairman David Sharpe – Naylor had an 11th-hour rethink.
And he has set his sights on helping Latics regain their Championship status under new owners Phoenix 2021 Limited.
“I loved it down at Portsmouth,” he said. “I was club captain, which was a huge honour, but sometimes you have to make that decision to move on.
“When Wigan came calling, I spoke to the manager, and he sold the club to me.
“He told me the players he’d be bringing in, and the fact the aim is promotion.
“That’s all I want to do as well, the aim every season has to be promotion and I’ve come here to do that next season.
“I’ve been promoted from League One before, I know how to get out of it, and hopefully I can help this club do that.”
Naylor becomes Wigan’s third summer signing and – along with defender Jack Whatmough and forward Gwion Edwards – will bring experience and know-how of the division.
“I think experience is massive in football,” he added.
“The more games you play throughout your career, the more things you see, and hopefully I can pass that on to some of the younger lads.”