Skipper Sam Morsy says new-boy Charlie Mulgrew’s impact at Wigan Athletic has been that of a £10million signing!
Mulgrew, 33, was a surprise arrival at the DW on transfer deadline day, on a season-long loan from Blackburn.
He’d been a key figure, and even club captain, at Rovers, before apparently falling out of favour with boss Tony Mowbray.
But Blackburn’s loss has been Wigan’s gain, with his introduction to the starting side coinciding with the three-match unbeaten run - including back-to-back clean sheets at the DW.
Mulgrew’s pinpoint set-piece delivery also assisted Chey Dunkley’s opening goal against Charlton at the weekend, and Morsy says it’s added a new dimension to the team.
“It’s a new weapon that we haven’t really had in previous seasons – a set-piece specialist,” acknowledged Morsy.
“Obviously we’ve played against him a few times over the years, and the delivery he has is frightening.
“If you’re looking at someone who’s going to come in and provide so many assists and goals...he’s like a £10million attacking midfielder!
“Defensively, too, he’s been top class...I was surprised Blackburn were prepared to let him go.
“With his all-round performance, presence about the place he’s been a fantastic signing.”
Mulgrew had to bide his time and wait for his chance in the side, and Morsy says with Danny Fox and Cedric Kipre also in the equation, Latics are well stocked at centre-back.
“Foxy started the season in the team, he’s been a stand-out player since he’s been at the club,” added Morsy.
“Ced’s showed what he can do, and his potential is there for all to see.
“And Chey’s doing brilliantly at the moment, and popping in with a few goals which is nice to see.
“That’s what you need – competition for places - and it’s something the manager has all over the field.”
Dunkley himself has been impressed by the way Mulgrew has hit the ground running.
“Charlie’s been brilliant since he’s been here,” enthused Saturday's two-goal hero.
“The gaffer’s really spoilt for choice – I’d like to think – in what he decides to go with.
“There’s me and big Cedric on the right side, big and strong. And there’s Charlie and Foxy on the left-hand side, doing the same.
“It’s my job, and Charlie’s job, to keep those two out of the team now.
“But they’re training hard, and that’s making sure we are training hard as well. It’s a squad game, and I’m sure their chance will come as well.”