Possibly the best piece of transfer business that Wigan Athletic boss Roberto Martinez will do this summer is the capture, on a permanent basis, of last season’s player of the year, Oman international goalkeeper Ali Al-Habsi.
Signing the 29 year old from Premier League rivals and neighbours, Bolton Wanderers was seen as a priority once the Latics Premier League status was confirmed, following the win at Stoke on the last day of the season, as celebrations took place on the pitch at the Britannia Stadium, Latics owner Dave Whelan could quite clearly be seen to say to Ali “I’m going to sign you”, sign him he did.
Al-Habsi had a fabulous season last time out, he was quite simply world class, not just on the pitch but his attitude off the field endeared him instantly to the Latics supporters, Al-Habsi always finds time to speak to the fans and he understands fully the responsibility of being a Premier League footballer.
On the playing front though surely there is none better in the Premier League, he is a big man, imposing and intimidating to opponents, he is also extremely agile with great reflexes, a fantastic shot stopper as we saw on more than one occasion last season.
On Sunday in the friendly against Villarreal, Ali was at again with two great stops to keep a clean sheet for the Latics, many more to come this season? Here’s hoping.
Ali, picking up where he left off
By permission of Bernard Platt/Wigan Athletic
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