Wigan Athletic have today completed the incoming transfer of goalkeeper Ali Al-Habsi.
Ali originally signed for Latics on loan from Bolton Wanderers on 15th July last year. Ironically his first ever taste of Premier League football was against Latics in 2007, but he failed to make the grade at the Horwich based outfit due to the form of Jussi Jaaskelainen. He made his Latics debut in a Carling Cup game against Hartlepool United at the Victoria Ground which resulted in a 3-0 victory on 24th August 2010 and became the established number one goalkeeper at the club after that game.
His Premier League debut came against Tottenham Hotspur in a 1-0 win at White Hart Lane five days later and he went on to become the club’s Player of the Year due to some breathtaking displays in his 34 top flight appearances last season. He has signed a four year contract for an undisclosed fee.
Speaking of Ali’s second coming Martinez insisted,
“During his loan at our football club last season, Ali brought a great degree of professionalism in his daily work and put in many outstanding performances in the Premier League. Goalkeeping is a very specific position and we are very pleased that we are going to be very strong in this department going into the new season.
“Being voted Player of the Season reflects the huge impression that Ali had on the pitch but also the feeling of the supporters towards him. After making it really clear that he wanted to play for Wigan Athletic moving forwards we’ve done everything possible to make this happen.
“The Chairman and everyone at the football club are delighted that Ali will be staying and I’m sure every single Latics fan will feel extremely proud and be able to enjoy a great day after hearing this news.”
The Oman international himself was delighted and commented,
“I am very happy. I want to thank everyone at Bolton for helping me get established in this country but I need to be playing first team football, and hopefully, if I can stay fit and keep doing my best, I will get the chance again at Wigan.”
The accompanying photograph is used courtesy of Bernard Platt and Wigan Athletic FC.
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