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31 July 2017

Midfielder delighted to be at the DW Stadium after season-long loan move from Sky Bet Championship side Wolves.

  • WATCH: Lee Evans’ first interview as a Wigan Athletic player.
  • Evans completed a season-long loan move from Wolves earlier today.
  • Evans: “Wigan the best opportunity for me”

New Latics midfielder Lee Evans says manager Paul Cook has handed him the perfect opportunity after completing his loan move from Wolves on Monday.

Evans, 23, arrives at the DW for the 2017-18 season having featured regularly for Wolves under Paul Lambert last season. However, new boss Nuno Espirito Santo informed Evans he wasn’t part of his plans and a loan move to Latics worked well for all parties.

“I am delighted [to be here],” Evans said. “It’s taken a couple of weeks to get everything sorted at both ends.

“I knew I didn’t really have a future this season at Wolves so to join a club like Wigan, who are pushing for promotion this season, is a perfect opportunity for me.

“It’s part of football, different managers have different opinions; under Paul Lambert I was playing quite a bit and he gave me a new contract but now the new manager has different ideas. That’s fine, they told me soon enough so I had plenty of time to get things sorted, I had plenty of options but I felt like Wigan was the best opportunity for me.”

In contrast, Latics boss Cook was keen to get Evans into his midfield, and a chat with the boss here at the DW sealed the deal for Evans.

“I am a midfielder who likes to get on the ball and dictate play, and that’s one of the main reasons I did come here because the manager rang me up and said exactly what he wanted from a midfielder and that he’d watched me plenty of times and wanted me in there,” he explained. “That is all I have wanted really, a manager to put confidence in me – hopefully I’ll repay him on the pitch.

“The manager is very infectious; I think I’ll get on really well with him. Even though it is my first day, I can see the boys respond really well to him – he demands respect, though, and he wants everyone’s standards to be as high as possible.”

A number of familiar faces here at the DW will make the settling in period easier for Evans, who admits he’s encouraged by the talent in Latics’ ranks.

“I know Michael [Jacobs] and Nathan Byrne; I have played against a lot of the other boys at Bradford two years ago,” he said.

“I think when you look at the whole squad with lads like Will Grigg and Sam Morsy, there is talent everywhere and I can see that just from training today. If I want to play week in and week out I will have to perform well.”

Evans is available to play for Latics straight away and he hopes to get games under his belt sooner rather than later. However, he acknowledges his limited game time in pre-season will leave him with some catching up to do.

“I haven’t had an ideal pre-season to be honest,” he added. “I haven’t played a minute yet and that’s something me and the manager have spoken about.

“I need to get as fit as possible as quick as possible really, but I am naturally fit and have been putting in a lot of hard work myself. I have been trying to keep myself in the best shape but nothing gets you as fit as games so hopefully I’ll get a game as soon as possible.”

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