12th Man: Return of Saint Jordi

The big news this week wasn’t the last minute equaliser against Birmingham, it wasn’t the mightily impressive 4 points in the space of 4 days. It wasn’t even getting one over Owen Coyle. It was all about the return of Jordi Gomez to Wigan Athletic.

Jordi Gomez

A move that had been mooted all summer finally transpired as the Catalan put pen to paper on a year contract, two years after departing for Sunderland. Jordi quite obviously split opinion amongst the Latics support – certainly in the Premier League days. Jordi for many came to symbolise the Roberto Martinez era – ambitious but sometimes not good enough.

Whether or not you agree with that is another matter and I fall firmly in to the don’t agree camp, the Championship is where Jordi can and has shone in the past. Nobody can doubt that he was the beating heart of our first season back at this level, shining in both the league and European campaigns and of course also having a starring role in our second FA Cup run in as many seasons.

A lot has changed at Latics since the former Barcelona and Espanyol player left for Sunderland and if there is anyone who can get the best out of Jordi it’s his former captain. Gary Caldwell doesn’t seemingly do sentiment – especially with how the likes of Emmerson Boyce and Jason Pearce have left the club in recent times.

This isn’t a move grounded in sentiment, Jordi is only recently turned 31 and has never been blessed with pace so that won’t be an issue on his return. This is a move for a midfielder who should and could be a class apart in this division. A midfield with the likes of Yanic, Michael Jacobs, Alex Gilbey, Max Power and Nick Powell supplying Will Grigg is an exciting prospect and one that should see any defence in this league worried.

So welcome back Jordi, the ‘bloody hell Gomez’ club will also be relishing your return – but you know they love you really.

Originally published in the Wigan Evening Post, Friday 19th August 2016