Another tough choice as Antonio Valencia joins our Latics Icons.It was Steve Bruce’s first full season in charge at the club, there were three permanent departures and three permanent arrivals, with the addition of the mysterious Egyptian striker Amr Zaki on loan from Zamalek.
Plenty of players could put a good case together to be our stand out player of 2008/09, including powerful performances from Mario Melchiot and Latics’ first Premier League ever-present Maynor Figueroa in defence; Lee Cattermole won Young Player of the Year, Titus Bramble scooped a number of awards, including Supporters’ Player of the Year and Emile Heskey and Wilson Palacios gave stellar performances before January departures.
The afore mentioned Zaki scored 10 times before the New Year, including his sensational bicycle kick against Liverpool at Anfield. In fact the Egyptian came a close second from your votes in our Latics Wall poll.
For us though, Antonio Valencia stands out. His impact on the team, not just in 2008/09 but on the whole, could change games. The Ecuadorian’s direct style often found Latics blowing teams away on the counter attack and he showed early signs of it in this campaign, with his superb goal in the 5-0 victory against Hull City.
Valencia was a rising star and his increasing reputation had attracted the interests of plenty of suitors, including Manchester United who he later signed for in June 2009, a club record fee for Latics which still stands today.
Then just 23-years-old, Valencia showed himself as one of the most talented players to pull on the blue and white shirt in the Premier League, wowing supporters with thumping goals against the likes of Manchester City and Blackburn Rovers.
Since moving to Old Trafford the winger has won two Premier League titles and one League Cup, amongst a number of personal awards.
We know many of you have disagreed with our choices, with some incredible names missing from the wall, so who would you make it onto your Latics Icons?
Please keep sharing your thoughts with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Latics Wall as we build-up towards the new season.
You can also start telling us your 2008/09 icon suggestions straight away by voting in our poll on Latics Wall by [clicking here].
Here are the icons who have made the wall so far:
2001/02 Andy Liddell
2002/03 Jason De Vos
2003/04 Jimmy Bullard
2004/05 Nathan Ellington
2005/06 Jason Roberts
2006/07 Leighton Baines
2007/08 Paul Scharner