Callum McManaman seals move to Hawthorns.
- Callum McManaman moves to West Bromwich Albion for undisclosed fee.
- Mackay: "The deal had to be in the best long-term interests of Wigan Athletic."
- Mackay: "It's a bitter sweet day for the club."
McManaman travelled to the Midlands to undergo a medical and discuss personal terms before signing and being officially unveiled as a Baggies player today.
The 23-year-old joins in the footsteps of Leighton Baines as an Academy product sold for a substantial fee and manager Malky Mackay said:
“Callum is a fantastic talent and again we found ourselves in a position of having to make a decision regarding a major player in our squad.
“There’s been a lot of interest in Callum over the last few weeks, but I have made it clear that we need a squad of hungry players who are 100% focused and committed to the job here. There comes a point where you have to do what’s best in terms of the player progressing in his career and what is financially the most beneficial for the club.
“We said from the outset that Callum would only be allowed to leave the club on the right financial terms for the long-term benefit of Wigan Athletic.
“From the point of view of the Academy, when a player comes through the system, it shows that there are real possibilities in terms of parents trusting us with their children and giving them a chance to progress through to the first team.
“The club have begun investing a lot of time, money and energy on the Academy and the work of Gregor Rioch and his staff is beginning to bear real fruit, as we can see with young Sam Cosgrove being included in the first team squad.
“In that respect, to lose Callum is a bitter sweet day for the club because although we are losing a very talented player, it does give evidence that there is an effective youth system in place here, which is getting better all the time.
“Callum leaves with our best wishes in his future career.”
McManaman made his debut for the first team in against Portsmouth in the Barclays Premier League in May 2009 at the age of 18, under Steve Bruce. He scored his first goal in the 3-2 FA Cup 3rd Round victory at Hull City in 2011, under Roberto Martinez.
It was after finally breaking into the first team with Man of the match performances in the FA Cup Quarter Final against Everton, the Semi-Final against Millwall and in the final against Manchester City in 2013, that his potential was there to be seen.
He has since been a regular part of the first team and began this season on fire, scoring four goals in the first five games, before injury halted his momentum.
He leaves the DW Stadium having scored 12 goals in 93 league appearances, and a total of 19 goals in 123 appearances in all competitions.