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Wigan snap up defender

19 June 2007 22:50

WIGAN, England (AFP) - Wigan have made Swedish defender Andreas Granqvist's loan move from Helsingborgs permanent after persuading the 22-year-old to sign a two-year deal.

After a spell on loan last season, Granqvist becomes Wigan's fourth signing of the close season, following the capture of two other defenders, Titus Bramble and Mario Melchiot, and French forward Antoine Sibierski.

Latics manager Chris Hutchings said: "There was a lot of interest in Andreas, which is why I wanted to get this done quickly.

"He has got bags of potential and the ability to make a real impact.

"He's good technically, he's strong and powerful and has pace, now it's up to us to make sure we harness that potential and turn him into a Premier League regular."

Granqvist, who made just one appearance during his loan spell as Wigan battled to survive in the top flight, added: "To play in England has always been a dream for me, and I am thrilled to have sorted out the move.

"I really like the atmosphere at the club and I feel I learned a lot from being involved last season. I feel I can now push and challenge for a regular first team place next season. I get on really well with the manager and I am very optimistic about the future now.

"I can't wait to get back and start challenging for my place."

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