Opinion: To Burn or not to Byrne?

A successful transfer for Wigan Athletic saw the Tic’s sign several, first team quality players for around £1m, and unlike in previous seasons, we haven’t offloaded too many key players.

The only real disappointments of the window were the deadline day departures of Max Power to Sunderland and Dan Burn to Brighton. The latter, however, will stay with the Latics at least until January.

So far though, fans have yet to see the defensive giant feature in the Championship due to a fractured foot injury sustained in pre-season. 21-year-old, Cedric Kipre, signed from Motherwell has stepped in and is looking better with each game. Burn is still the more expensive player, and as his move to the premier league would suggest, has the quality to be an outstanding defender at this level, leaving Paul Cook with a big decision to make regarding his back line.

It’s the whole stick or twist conundrum, last season’s back four was the strongest in the football league last season and Burn orchestrated much of that success. That being said, however, the consistency of the back four was also key to Cook’s plans and certainly contributed to the quality of communication between the players. This is also the case at Right back, where last season’s player of the season, Nathan Byrne, started the season on the side-lines with an injury. 18-year-old Reece James, on loan from Chelsea, has looked another quality replacement though, particularly when playing high up the pitch and giving the side real width.

Only time will tell what Cook chooses to do, Byrne has made a couple of substitute appearances and so must be at least close to match fitness. Burn is supposedly getting close to the squad as well and even if Cook does choose to stay with Kipre as first choice, Wigan fans must surely be eager to see he big man back in a Latics shirt before he eventually moves on to the premier league. “Superman” Dan Burn has been an excellent servant to the club in his time here and will leave with a fond farewell.

Picture Credit: Wigan Athletic, Brighton & Hove Albion.

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