They kept us waiting, they allowed the wafc hashtag to enter a new level of meltdown but Wigan Athletic have indeed announced a deadline day deal at the last minute!
23 year old forward Anthony Scully has arrived at the DW Stadium after completing an undisclosed permanent deal from League 1 side Lincoln City. Off the back of a successful time last season where he netted 15 goals and 7 assists, Scully adds pace and trickery to the Latics forward line and will be looking to replicate that form in the division above.
Its a deal that has seemingly come out of nowhere. He’s played 5 games for the Imps this season and hasn’t been linked with a move away from Sincil Bank at all this summer, but Leam Richardson clearly recognises the talent he possesses and has swooped late to secure his man.
What does he bring to the side?
We’ve been crying out for a bit more pace in attacking areas and the addition of Scully certainly adds that. At 5’9 he’s a quick and nimble forward capable of taking on his man or running in behind onto through balls and flick ons making him a real threat on the counter attack. At Lincoln he’s spent the majority of his time out wide but often drifts centrally into dangerous areas which makes him a threat in more ways than one.
He hasn’t played any Championship football before but had a good footballing upbringing in the West Ham academy. His experience at youth level for the Republic of Ireland will have given him some high level experience too which is good, but there’s something really exciting about signing a player that is hungry to prove himself at a higher level.
In many ways he’s a similar player to Callum Lang, and luckily for the Wigan youth product our new man prefers to play on the left. He’s best described as an inside forward, someone that likes to cut inside from the left wing and fire shots on goal with his favoured right foot. Impressively he’s very capable with his left foot too and is more than able to go on the outside and clip crosses into the box too.
As the comparison with Lang shows we’ve signed a real attacking threat in Anthony Scully. He’s a high volume shooter but also very unselfish too, something many (including Leam) have criticised Callum Lang for not being this season!
He’s great at finding space in the penalty area too as his 4.01 touches in box per 90 suggests. Whether or not he’ll be gifted as much space in a better division is yet to be seen but you’d like to think he’s a player that is ready for the step up.
Working with James Beattie has done wonders for the forwards already at the club so hopefully Scully is able to take on some of his wisdom! He’s young and someone that wants to improve which is exactly what Latics fans will love to hear.
In front of goal he’s pretty clinical and a conversion rate of 15.9% isn’t bad at all. Again the fact he’ll be working alongside James Beattie makes me confident that his finishing will improve, and if it does we’ll have a hell of a player as the rest of his attacking attributes are excellent.
He’s not much of an aerial threat but I don’t think we’ll need him to be given the other forwards we have. I imagine he’ll initially be used as an impact player off the bench and adds wonderful depth across the front line, alongside players like Broadhead and Aasgaard. He also adds an extra Irishman to our squad so hopefully he links up well with his compatriots Will Keane and James McClean!
Where might he play?
As I’ve mentioned Anthony Scully adds depth across our forward line with his versatility. The heat map shows that he played predominantly as a left winger last season but often drifted inside to pick up the ball in more dangerous central areas.
Assuming he does feature on the left for us he’ll be up against James McClean in the pecking order which is interesting as they’re two very different players. McClean is much more of a traditional left winger whereas Scully prefers to play more inverted.
In theory this means that when Scully plays on the left there’ll be more responsibility placed on our LB to offer width high up the pitch on that side. This should make us a much more dangerous side in attacking areas, particularly given the quality of delivery players like Bennett and McClean possess. I also like the idea of him linking up with players like Keane and Aasgaard who will both be able to find the 23 year old in the small pockets of space he gets himself into.
On the right you can expect him to play in almost the exact same way as Callum Lang. I doubt he’ll spend much time there though as both Aasgaard and Broadhead prefer it on that side, meaning Scully will likely play exclusively on the left hand side. He’ll also be more than comfortable playing as the ‘poacher’ when we revert to a 5-3-2, alongside a target man type forward.
I’ll be honest, at times today I was worried that the window would end in a hugely anti-climatic way. However, this signing has really impressed me both in terms of the current ability he has and the potential of what he could become. Anthony Scully was one of the stand out attackers in League 1 last year and at 23 he’s exactly the type of player we should be signing.
I can’t imagine the fee will be too much either and there’s certainly a lot of sell on potential with him if he impresses at the DW. You could question whether or not its a risky deal for someone that hasn’t played at this level yet but for me its a risk worth taking. If it doesn’t click for him immediately we have plenty of other options in attack so he doesn’t arrive with loads of pressure on him either, and I think that’ll do him the world of good.
Welcome to the madhouse Anthony Scully!