Premier League winner hails 'brilliant time' at Wigan Athletic

Marc Albrighton has revealed his debt of gratitude to Wigan Athletic after helping to kickstart his career seven years ago.
Marc AlbrightonMarc Albrighton
Marc Albrighton

The 30-year-old is currently with Leicester City, with whom he was a Premier League title winner in 2015-16.

But his career had appeared to be stalling just a couple of years earlier, when he was loaned out by Aston Villa to Wigan in October 2013 before being released at the end of that season.

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Had things been different, Albrighton would have made the shorter move to Derby rather than join Wigan, only for then-Villa boss Paul Lambert to intervene.

However, then-Latics manager Owen Coyle used his contacts to pull off a deal.

And four impressive displays saw him return to Villa with renewed confidence, before the move to Leicester saw him realise his full potential.

"It was Wigan and Derby that were interested in me at the time," Albrighton told Birmingham Live's 'Claret & Blue' podcast. "I got a phone call off Nigel Clough, I loved everything I heard from him on the phone.

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"I hadn't heard about Wigan at the time. I thought if Villa are willing to do it and they can arrange the Derby deal that's great.

"I can go and get some football for a month and then come back after Christmas and hit the ground running.

"I ended up going into training and speaking to Lambert about the phone call that I'd had from Derby and he said: 'You're going to go to Wigan'.

"Straight away I thought: 'Why?' Derby were above Wigan in the league at the time. I thought Derby suited me more location wise and with the squad they had.

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"I thought: 'It's a strange one', but he was persistent that I go to Wigan.

"Whether it was the fact he was good friends with Owen Coyle and that had a part to play I'm not sure.

"But I ended up going to Wigan and to be fair I've not got a bad word to say about my time there.

"I was only there a month but it sort of opened my eyes up a bit to the smaller football clubs, the family side of things.

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"As good a club as Villa is, and taking nothing away from Villa, because it's such a big club people get lost there and you don't really see everyone, whereas Wigan because it's so small, it was such a good feel around that place.

"The manager Owen Coyle was fantastic for me, he was brilliant, I've not got a bad word to say about him, I loved my time there.

"But those were just the sort of things that happened during that era that didn't really fill me with any motivation at all in terms of playing for Lambert."