Chris Kirkland has joined hometown club Leicester City on a month long loan with Latics able to recall the 29-year-old at 24 hours notice.

The former Liverpool and Coventry City keeper signed for Wigan in July 2006, initially on loan, and has made 130 Premier League starts during his time with the club.

However, following a shaky start to the season for Latics, Kirkland found himself resigned to the bench after loan signing Ali Al Habsi’s excellent form saw the Oman international preferred in the starting lineup.

Roberto Martinez commented: “I think it tells you more about the form of Ali than anything about Chris. Chris is a fantastic professional and a top quality goalkeeper.

“He is completely fit after a few niggling injuries in recent months and what he needs is match sharpness, which he will get now at Leicester. Chris has been working really well on a daily basis and to improve his moment of form, he can only do it by playing games.

“Chris is still very much part of our club, and of course we retain the right to call him back at any time.”

Kirkland remains realistic about the move and explained: “I think the fans will see I just need to play, that’s the top and bottom of it. I need to be match sharp. I love it at Wigan, it’s been the best spell of my career.

“I’ve said it many times how settled I feel at the club and how great everyone here has been to me. But in football, things happen sometimes, Ali has come in this season and done well and I can’t argue with that. He is a great lad and all three of us, with Mike Pollitt, get on brilliantly.”

Pollitt will take his place on the bench against West Ham at Upton Park on Saturday after recovering from minor surgery on his elbow and coming through a full 90 minutes for the reserves in their 3-0 win over Bolton Wanderers at the Robin Park Arena yesterday.

Wigan’s other option in goal, Lee Nicholls, is currently on loan at Hartlepool United, but the England U19 international is also subject to a 24 hour recall.

Meanwhile Chris Kirkland goes straight into the Leicester squad to face neighbours Nottingham Forest on Monday evening and joins up once more with Sven-Goran Eriksson who handed him his one and only England cap as a second half replacement for Paul Robinson in the 4-0 friendly win against Greece at Old Trafford in August 2006.