When Wigan Athletic line up to face Manchester United tomorrow at Old Trafford, two former Latics players will be wearing red, Antonio Valencia and Tom Cleverley
Valencia spent 3 seasons at the DW Stadium, joining from Villarreal, initially on loan after being spotted by former boss Paul Jewell playing for Ecuador in the 2006 World Cup Finals. His talent, hard working ethic and blistering pace enticed United to splash out a cool £17 million on him, the Latics reluctantly agreed to the sale, and, without too much fuss Antonio Valencia joined Manchester United as replacement for the outgoing Ronaldo
Watching Valencia from afar, seeing his development into a really top class player has been done with a huge sense of pride on my part, the mild mannered unassuming kid from Ecuador cut his Premier League teeth with the Latics and he still holds us close to his heart, he actually played in a Latics shirt this summer in a exhibition game in Honduras:
Valencia with old friends
Tom Cleverley of course was never ‘our’ player but he did spend a full season on loan with the Latics, a talented midfield player with bags of energy and an eye for goal he enjoyed Premier League action with us making 25 appearances, scoring 4 goals
Cleverley spent an important part of his development with the Latics and again it is pleasing to see him go on to not only become a regular in the United set-up but also feature for England in the World Cup qualifiers
Tom Cleverley celebrates scoring for the Latics
Speaking about both Antonio Valencia and Tom Cleverley Latics boss Roberto Martinez said – ‘As a football club it does give us a good feeling to see the likes of Antonio Valencia and Tom Cleverley performing so well for Manchester United after their experiences with Wigan Athletic.
‘Antonio’s achievements at Old Trafford and his rise to becoming one of his team’s most important players is something that puts our club on the map, and in the case of Tom we were all proud of his development whilst he was at the DW Stadium and could see by the time he returned to his parent club that he was ready to compete for international appearances and a place in Sir Alex Ferguson’s team.
‘We’re proud of them and they’ll always have Wigan Athletic fans supporting them both, but hopefully on Saturday they won’t be their usual selves.’
The latest PWU Podcast is now available, this week it’s the Manchester United v Latics preview, in the ‘studio’ are Barry, Dan, Dan, Dave and Gareth
The podcast is available for download from itnues, our hosting site www.buzzsprout.com or you can click play on the player below to listen from here
Latics and Proud
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