Wigan Athletic secure long-term future of another gem from the Academy

Charlie Hughes admits he's delighted and over the moon' after signing a long-term contract extension with Wigan Athletic.
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The 19-year-old has been rewarded for a string of impressive performances this term after being thrust into the side following a season-ending injury to Jason Kerr.

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He's very much remained in the side on merit, and Latics have moved swiftly to secure his future until the summer of 2027.

Charlie Hughes celebrates signing his new long-term contract with Latics CEO Mal BranniganCharlie Hughes celebrates signing his new long-term contract with Latics CEO Mal Brannigan
Charlie Hughes celebrates signing his new long-term contract with Latics CEO Mal Brannigan
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“I’m delighted and over the moon," said Hugfhes, who spent time in the Academies of Liverpool and Manchester City before joining Latics as an Under-15.

“It’s something I’ve been looking forward to doing and it means the world to me and my family.

“Mal Brannigan mentioned the possibility of a new contract a few months ago and it was something that pushed me on to work harder and perform even better.

“It’s just a checkpoint now and I just want to get my head down and carry on working hard for the rest of the season and beyond.”

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Hughes signed his first professional contract in September 2021 before going on to make his first-team debut against Arsenal Under-21s in the Papa John’s Trophy last year.

He followed it up by earning his first professional start in Latics’ Carabao Cup clash at Fleetwood Town last August, and he made his league debut at Middlesbrough on Boxing Day.

“Charlie’s long-term deal is a positive statement from the club," said boss Shaun Maloney.

“I know what a great job the Academy does here with our young players, and Charlie is a perfect example of that.

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"He is a young player who has fantastic potential that he has already shown during his step up to the first team.

“His talent is not only in defensive areas of our team, but Charlie also offers a lot to our attacking play.

"I’m convinced if he continues to work hard, he will have a successful career with us here at Wigan Athletic.”

Chief executive Mal Brannigan added: “The dedication of the coaching staff at the Academy, led by Gregor Rioch, in ensuring that their graduates have every opportunity of gaining a professional career, is highlighted by this fantastic news.

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"It also reflects the hard work of Charlie himself and the support he has been given by those close to him.

“It is very encouraging to see Charlie's progression into the first team this season.

"He is another brilliant example of the pathway from the Academy to the professional ranks and it is clear to see he is a young man with a great future.”

Hughes becomes the latest home-grown star to pledge his future to the club since the takeover by Phoenix 2021 Ltd.

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Forwards Thelo Aasgaard and Callum Lang are also tied to the club until 2026 and 2025 respectively.

Prior to that, the sale of Academy products Joe Gelhardt (Leeds), Jensen Weir (Brighton) and Alfie Devine (Spurs) during the summer of 2020 helped to save the club after it was placed into administration by the previous owners – underlining the fantastic work being done at Christopher Park by Gregor Rioch and his staff.

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