Talking football: Why deadline day could prove to be anything but dramatic at Wigan Athletic

Paul Cook
Paul Cook

The transfer window closes at 5pm on Thursday night – and clubs up and down the country will still be working hard to push through late deals.

But, whisper it quietly, it’s shaping up to be the most uneventful deadline day in Wigan Athletic history.

Paul Cook’s phone will remain on in case something pops up out of the blue, too good to turn down.

But the Latics boss will surely be more than satisfied with what the window has brought him already.

It’s a far cry from a month ago, when Cook was admitting to feelings of ‘frustration’ at the lack of incomings at that point.

A flurry of wheeling and dealing last week, however, has ensured his squad has been bolstered in all areas.

Centre-half is the only position without two senior players competing for each shirt - and would be the area of most interest to Cook.

Danny Fox has looked a cracking addition since his January arrival, but his chequered injury record - at the age off 33 - remains a slight worry.

Chey Dunkley and Cedric Kipre will be stronger for their first year in the Championship, while Kal Naismith proved during his memorable cameo at Leeds on Good Friday that there is literally no position he cannot cover!

But one more experienced body on board would give the manager insurance across the board.

Looking at the rest of the squad, Cook has quality and quantity at his disposal.

He’s perhaps lacking the ‘X Factor’ magic of a Nick Powell or a Reece James.

Replacing them was always going to be mission impossible this window – and not least because Latics received no cash for their loss.

Fair play to new owners IEC for putting their money where their mouth is and stumping up around £8.5million – plus wages – to back their manager.

On top of the not-inconsiderable sum of £1million per month they’ve been putting in since coming on to the scene last year, to pay the bills.

And that’s just competing at the ‘budget’ end of the Championship!

Comparing to last season, there’s a case for the squad looking more balanced and competitive.

It also has a younger feel to it – a deliberate move by club bosses to lower the average age and, in turn, increase the sell-on potential.

That point is underlined by the promotion to the first team of Joe Gelhardt and Jensen Weir, who have both shown in pre-season they are more than ready for first-team football.

Which is partly why, while other clubs are desperately trying to bring in players during the last 24 hours of the window, Latics can afford to sit this one out.

They’ve been part of this madness too many times before – including the eight deadline-day arrivals on Warren Joyce’s watch.

Despite the buzz of excitement at the time, in reality it underlined how desperate things were.

The sense of calm at the moment should underline completely the opposite.