Liam Ridgewell, the former West Bromwich Albion, Aston Villa and Birmingham City defender, has joined Wigan Athletic on loan until mid-February from American side Portland Timbers.
The 30-year-old made 351 appearances during his career in England and joined the MLS side last summer where he has scored two goals in 14 appearances.
Despite only joining the Latics for a short period of time, Ridgewell is very enthusiastic about his move and feels it is the perfect opportunity to get going again before the MLS starts in March.
He said: “I want to train hard, work hard on the pitch and repay the manager for giving me a chance to keep myself going whilst the MLS season is over.
“I’ve played a lot of games in England over my career, and hopefully I can bring my experience to the team and we can start to climb the table.”
Born in the same place as Jimmy Bullard, Ridgewell has all sorts of links to the club and is keen to get his name on the team sheet as soon as possible.
Ridgewell has previously faced Malky Mackay’s side 11 times, scoring three times across three clubs and he now hopes he can take this to Wigan and help them recover from their relegation zone woes.
“It’s a bit mad how things work sometimes, but it’s nice to come here and play for the same team that a great player like Jimmy has played at,” said the defender.
“This club has had some fantastic players over the years, ones I’ve played against, so I know the quality is very high here.
“I’ve played against players in the current squad quite a lot over my career and I played with Scott Carson for England under-21s, so it’s nice to see some familiar faces.”
Wigan manager Malky Mackay, who has only managed one victory since taking over the club from Uwe Rosler, has been very pleased to welcome the vast experience of Ridgewell to his struggling side.
Mackay has said time and time again how demanding the Championship is and, to get out of the relegation zone, the Scotsman has underlined how having a player who knows the league inside out could provide a huge boost for the club.
“He is a top pro who has spent the majority of his career in the Premier League.
“But he also knows this league inside out having earned promotion with Birmingham and he will add the kind of experience that will be crucial to us at this time.”
Main image courtesy of Wigan Athletic via YouTube, with thanks.