Goals Should Not Be An Issue For The Latics This Season
Goals were a real problem for Wigan last season in League One.
Goals were a real problem for Wigan last season in League One. Only three teams in the division scored less than the Latics. Leam Richardson has looked to put that right over the summer by bolstering his attacking options
The aim next season for the ‘Tics will be to push towards a top-six finish rather than just avoiding relegation. If they can carry the form from the final third of last year into the new campaign, they will have a great chance of doing that.
Wigan had some excellent victories in the final couple of months of the 2020/21 to avoid relegation. One of those being their 4-1 victory over Doncaster at the Keepmoat Stadium. Here are some reasons to be hopeful that Wigan will be a high scoring team in the 2021/22 season.
Pre-Season Signs Are Good
In their five pre-season friendlies ahead of the new campaign, Wigan scored 11 goals in five games. They put three goals past the highly-rated Championship side Preston North End in a 3-2 victory in their last fixture.
Richardson will also be delighted that the goals in those games have been shared amongst his squad. There were six different goalscorers. If that form transfers into the 2021/22 league fixtures for Wigan, the Latics boss is going to have healthy competition for places when it comes to attacking positions.
Wigan won all five of their friendlies this summer which means morale should be high heading into the new EFL League One campaign. As of the 5th August, Latics are 4/1 in the Betway promotion betting for the division. Those odds suggest they are amongst the favourites to be chasing one of the automatic places or play-off spots in the league.
The two teams which were promoted automatically last season, Hull City and Peterborough, scored 80 and 83 goals respectively following their 46 matches. Richardson will have a similar total in mind and if they reach it, you would expect the campaign to end well and possibly with the club adding to their long honours list.
One of the best bits of business done in League One in the summer transfer window could be Wigan’s signing of striker Stephen Humphrys from Rochdale. Despite playing in a team that got relegated last season, the striker scored 11 goals in 29 appearances. At the age of 23, Humphrys’ best years are ahead of him. The former Fulham trainee has also had spells at Southend, Shrewsbury (loan) and Scunthorpe (loan). He has a lot of League One experience already.
The new Wigan striker is a player who offers so much to the team. His work rate is very impressive, while he has the physical game required to do well in League One. It was also notable that he was Rochdale’s free-kick taker last season.
Wigan fans will recall he scored a brace against the ‘Tics in a thrilling 3-3 draw at the Crown Oil Arena last season. He rose above the Wigan defence to equalise in the 95th minute of that match to earn his side a point. With a much stronger supply this season, expect to see Humphrys record his best tally of his career so far.
The other notable addition to the squad during the transfer window is Charlie Wyke. He has joined from Sunderland on a free transfer in what is a real coup for the club. The 28-year was second on the League One top goalscorer charts last season with 25 goals. Only Peterborough’s Jonson Clarke-Harris scored more than the former Black Cats man.
To gain a top-quality player from a team who are expected to be one of the rivals to Wigan for the title in the upcoming campaign really does say a lot about Latics’ promotion prospects. Wyke clearly sees ambition in the club and hopefully, he can help them achieve those goals. Wyke, who was named the Supporters’ Player of the Season at Sunderland last year, brings some height to the forward line. A lot of his goals for the North East club have come with his head. He is a very smart striker who should form a great relationship with Humphrys, Callum Lang and Will Keane.
It may prove difficult for the 6ft 2 striker to better his tally from last season, especially if Richardson opts to rotate his forward line. If he gets off to a good start though, he may prove a player who is very hard to leave out from the starting line-up.
Let’s hope Wigan fans have lots of goals to celebrate next season. There is a lot of optimism that this exciting team can achieve great things over the next nine months
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