Monday, May 21, 2018

Martinez eyes January spending spree; Clarke unsure over Lukaku recall

Wigan Athletic manager Roberto Martinez has revealed that he is prepared to break the bank for a few potential new signings ahead of the January transfer window, Sky Sports understands.

At the moment, the DW Stadium is overwhelmed with injury concerns, with eight first-team players expected to be sidelined for the Latics’ next league fixture against Newcastle United at St James’ Park on Monday.

Martinez and club chairman Dave Whelan have already held talks regarding potential transfer targets, according to reports. Meanwhile, Wigan are currently just two points above the relegation zone, and have a rather unimpressive -10 goal difference.

It’s not time to panic just yet, but surely it is time to spend, and Martinez is looking to do just that.

“The way we’ve been running our football club we always try to work in advance and we’re trying to get probably two or three players to help the ones we have got at the club to give us a real boost in January,” revealed Martinez.

“Remember it is a difficult window but we have been working now for a long time to identify players who can bring us something different.

“We will work as hard as we can and our focus is to be a stronger squad when the window closes so that’s not going to change.”

Wigan head into Monday’s clash at St James’ Park as the underdogs, but perhaps they should not be when considering the Magpies’ form over the last seven games in all competitions — which they have won none of — including home losses to the likes of West Ham United and Swansea City in the English Premier League.

Clarke unsure over Lukaku recall

West Bromwich Albion boss Steve Clarke remains uncertain over the future of on-loan Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku, who could be set to return to West London in January, possibly forcing Clarke to buy a new striker in the upcoming transfer window, Sky Sports reports.

Lukaku, 19, has shown flashes of pure brilliance while on loan at The Hawthorns this season. The Belgium international forward has bagged five goals — tied for the team-lead with Shane Long — and one assist in 13 league appearance this term.

The potential departure of Lukaku and absence of Peter Odemwingie, who will be on international duty for Nigeria at the African Cup of Nations in January, will not comfort the club’s new manager Steve Clarke.

Clarke has insisted that it won’t be a problem, but it certainly feels like a problem.

With that said, Albion have some reinforcements at striker, with Marc-Antoine Fortune and Markus Rosenberg backing up Long, Lukaku and Odemwingie at the moment.

Fortune is by no means a goal-scoring talisman, but Rosenberg, on the other hand, has the ability to score and score in bunches.

Nonetheless, expect Clarke to buy another striker if and only if Lukaku is recalled by Chelsea in January.


Shawn Etemadi



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