Newly-promoted Wigan Athletic have completed the signing of 21-year-old Colchester midfielder Alex Gilbey.
The highly-rated Englishman makes the switch to the DW Stadium on a three-year-deal, after the two clubs agreed an undisclosed compensation fee required due to Gilbey’s age, despite being out of contract with The U’s.
Gilbey starred for Colchester during the 2015/16 League One campaign, winning the club’s coveted Player of the Year award at season’s end. The youngster made 42 appearances whilst netting five goals, most notably firing a spectacular strike past Wigan keeper Jussi Jaaskelainen in Colchester’s thrilling 3-3 draw with The Latics on 12th March.
However, Gilbey’s exploits weren’t enough to haul The U’s away from the dropzone, as the Essex club would ultimately be relegated down to League Two for the 2016/17 season.
Gilbey started his professional career at Colchester in 2012, making 121 total appearances for the club in the four years since signing with the club.
Now, Gilbey’s impressive displays have earned the youngster a high-profile switch to Gary Caldwell’s Wigan, who will be hoping to build on their emphatic run to the League One title last season.
Speaking to Wigan’s official website, Latics boss Caldwell gave his thoughts on his side’s second signing of the summer.
“Alex was one of the outstanding young talents in League One last season, and we believe the next stage of his career can be fulfilled here.
“He’s exactly the sort of player and person who suits this club and we’re delighted to add him to the group for pre-season.
“He scored an excellent goal against us at Colchester last season and he was a standout player on the day, making him an excellent addition.”
Acquiring Gilbey’s services will serve as a huge boost to Wigan’s midfield ranks, as The Latics hope to improve the quality within their squad before the beginning of a challenging Championship season.