Wigan Athletic swoop for Newcastle United defender

Latics have bolstered their ranks with a loan signing, bringing in defender Kell Watts from Premier League outfit Newcastle United.
Kell Watts has joined on loan for the rest of the seasonKell Watts has joined on loan for the rest of the season
Kell Watts has joined on loan for the rest of the season

The 21-year-old will join the League One outfit immediately – in time for tomorrow's Carabao Cup match at Hull City – and stay until the end of the 2021/22 season.

Watts has previous loan experience with both Stevenage and Mansfield Town, as well as playing 50 games for Plymouth Argyle last season.

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He will wear the No.2 shirt for Latics and said: “I’ve met the lads and the gaffer and I’m really happy to be here.

“They’ve welcomed me in well which has been brilliant. I think what excited me when I knew Wigan were interested was the players that have come through the door and the management team as well. I thought it was a special group here and something I want to be a part of – winning games and keeping clean sheets.

“Pre-season with Newcastle has been good; I’ve played a full game and a couple of 45-minute run outs too. Physically I’m in good shape and I’m ready to go.”

He could make his debut tomorrow at Hull, though Richardson isn’t planning to make major changes to his Wigan Athletic line-up.

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His options are limited, and following their 2-1 opening day defeat at Sunderland on Saturday, boss Richardson is keen for his players to get more game-time under their belt to sharpen up their combinations. He said: “We only have a small number of players in the squad, so the chances are they’ll all be involved on Tuesday.

“And I think it’s important they are as well, to get to know each other, to feel each other on the pitch, and improve on certain areas we need to after Saturday.

“There’s nothing like playing, especially in front of crowds like we did on Saturday.”

Latics had five debutants in the starting line-up on Saturday – Ben Amos, Jack Whatmough, Tom Naylor, Charlie Wyke and goal-scorer Gwion Edwards – while Max Power made his ‘second debut’.