Callum McManaman back at Wigan Athletic

Callum McManaman and Paul Cook
Callum McManaman and Paul Cook

Callum McManaman has returned to Wigan Athletic.


McManaman, 27, joined Latics as a 16-year-old after leaving Everton and went on to play 109 times for the first team, scoring 17 goals.

His breakthrough season at the DW Stadium came in 2012-13 as he established himself as a Premier League regular for Roberto Martinez before grabbing the national spotlight for his performances in the FA Cup, most notably against former club Everton and then in the semi-final and final at Wembley against Millwall and Manchester City respectively.

Since leaving the DW in 2015, McManaman has played for West Bromwich Albion, Sheffield Wednesday and Sunderland.

Delighted to get his man, McManaman’s new manager Paul Cook said: “Callum’s connection with this club and our fans is there for all to see, our task is to get him ready and doing what he does best at the DW Stadium.

“I have seen Callum from afar and I am excited about what he can produce; this is a good environment for him to come into because he knows a lot of the players and staff well, which should help him settle in straight away.”

McManaman said: "It's great to be back. All of the lads and the gaffer seem spot on. I saw a few bits on Twitter yesterday and today from the fans and it seems like everyone is happy. I'm buzzing to be a Latics player again.

"I didn't want to leave in the first place to be honest, so I'm made up to be home and to get going again.

"I've been following games for the last few years, especially last season and the gaffer's style definitely suits me. When I spoke to him he's been great and all of the lads speak very highly of him.

"I've had some great times at this club and I'm only still 27-years-old, so I can't see why I can't have more good times here. I want to go one better.

"I don't think I realised until I left just how good my first time at the club was, the grass isn't always greener."

Former team mates James Vaughan and Ross Wallace greeted McManaman back to Latics during his medical at the team hotel, with close-friend Max Power also on the scene to welcome Callum home.

"I know a lot of the lads here, mostly from other clubs, so settling in will be fine. I know Max (Power) really well, he's a good lad and I've known him for a while. I haven't played with him before, so I'm looking forward to doing well on the pitch together."

Although he will only be in Spain with the group for one day, McManaman says he's more than ready to get started and that he's learned a lot during his time away.

"I've played in a few matches already in pre-season and got some minutes under my belt. The gaffer there is brilliant and I think they'll do really well this season.

"I've learned a lot in the three years I've been away. I've learned that as a player you need the right manager and that's probably the biggest lesson I've learned. When you move clubs you need to consider everything, not just because it's a certain club, but because you're comfortable with who you're going to be working with.

"I'm out in Spain for 24 hours, it's not a bad place to come and sign."

On what's next for Callum McManaman, the forward said he can't wait to sink his teeth into the Rangers FC pre-season fixture and his former club Sheffield Wednesday on the opening day of the season.

"I saw the Rangers fixture announced on Twitter before I signed and I thought to myself how much I'd love to play in that game. I'm buzzing that I've got the chance to play in that game.

"All of my family and my mates will be up in Scotland to watch that one, definitely.

"Sheffield Wednesday on the first day is a great way to open the season. I enjoyed my time on loan there, but I came in half way through the season trying to play catch up and the manager already had his team set and they were winning a lot of games, so I was coming on as a sub and playing well in games, but I didn't manage to get a proper run.

"They were unlucky not to go up that season because it was a really good side. It's a very good club with good supporters and it will be great to play them in the first game.

"The Championship is the toughest league in my opinion. It's a challenge playing Saturday-Tuesday, it's relentless.

"The fans have got a huge role to play in this league, but here at Wigan they're always spot on anyway."