Wigan Switch For Al Habsi

  • July 15, 2010 | By Chris Mann
  • URL Short URL: http://b-ac.es/2292c

Wigan Athletic have completed the signing of Bolton goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi, on a season-long loan.

Reports surfaced on Thursday that the Oman international was having a medical at the DW Stadium, ahead of a proposed two-year deal. However, these reports proved to be slightly inaccurate and the 28-year-old has instead made a loan switch.

Speaking about the move, Wanderers boss Owen Coyle admitted the move was best for all parties.

"Ali is a terrific lad and has been a great and loyal servant to Bolton Wanderers," Coyle told the club's official website.

"We had a chat and felt that this offer gave him the chance to get some games under his belt.

"Jussi Jaaskelainen is our number one goalkeeper and Ali has found himself behind one of the top keepers in the league.

"This season-long loan means that he will come back to Bolton stronger."

The player was also pleased with the move, where he will play just down the road from the Reebok Stadium.

"It's a fantastic feeling to have joined and I would first of all like to thank Bolton Wanderers for the opportunity to allow me to join Wigan Athletic," Al Habsi told Wigan's official website.

"I'm looking forward to meeting the lads and showing them and the fans my stuff. It's going to be an exciting season ahead and I can't wait to give 100% for the club.

"It's all come around really quickly to be honest. I was getting ready to go off to America with Bolton when a call came on Wednesday night that the deal had been done, and I couldn't be happier that the move has gone through.

"I've spoken with the Manager and was very happy with everything he said, I'm just looking forward to meeting him and the rest of the lads now, it's all going to be a fantastic experience for myself."

Latics boss Roberto Martinez was also positive about the move and hopes Al Habsi can push Chris Kirkland and Mike Pollitt for the number one jersey next season.

"We need competition in every department, and Ali will certainly do that," Martinez said.

"He has a terrific attitude to the game and after four years in England knows all about the Premier League. We are delighted to welcome him on board."

Al Habsi joined Bolton on a free transfer from Norwegian side Lyn Oslo in January 2006 and has made 18 appearances for the club, playing as an understudy to Jussi Jaaskelainen. He is under contract at the Reebok Stadium until the summer of 2013.

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
1 Accrington Stanley 0 0
2 Barnsley 0 0
3 Bolton Wanderers 0 0
4 Bristol Rovers 0 0
5 Burton Albion 0 0
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