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Page last updated at 21:58 GMT, Friday, 23 July 2010 22:58 UK

James McArthur completes move from Hamilton to Wigan

Hamilton midfielder James McArthur

McArthur has been an important player for Hamilton

Wigan Athletic have completed the signing of midfielder James McArthur from Hamilton Academical for a fee believed to be about £400,000.

The 22-year-old former Scotland Under-21 international has signed a four-year contract at the DW Stadium.

"Wigan as a club just sells itself. They are a massive, massive, massive club and the Premier League is the best league in the world," said McArthur.

"There are so many styles of play. The best players in the world are here."

Wigan manager Roberto Martinez told his club website: "James is a really exciting prospect.

"We are building a squad here and I see James as being another real quality addition in the midfield areas."

McArthur teams up again with James McCarthy, with whom he had formed Hamilton's central midfield before the 19-year-old left Accies for Wigan last summer for £1.2m.

"He is young, hungry, desperate to play for us in the Premier League and I believe he has all the attributes you need to be a success at this level," said Martinez.

He's a fantastic young footballer and I'm sure he'll fit in really well here

Wigan defender Gary Caldwell

"We want James to feel at home here, enjoy his football and progress his career as he helps with his daily standards, to make Wigan Athletic a stronger football team.

"We have all seen how well James McCarthy adapted to life at Wigan and James McArthur has the potential to be just as impressive.

"James has played a huge amount of games for a player of his age and his desire and winning mentality will be a great asset for our squad."

McArthur, for whom Hamilton will receive add-on fees depending on his appearances at Wigan, joined the Lanarkshire side as a 15-year-old and played 190 times as they progressed from Division One to establish themselves in the Scottish Premier League.

Wigan defender Gary Caldwell remembers him as an opponent in Scotland's top flight.

"I have played against him a few times for Celtic and he's a real competitor," said the Scotland international.

"He's got a never-say-die attitude and is full of energy and aggression in the middle of the park. He's a fantastic young footballer and I'm sure he'll fit in really well here."

Hamilton had long expected McArthur to follow McCarthy and full-back Brian Easton, now with Burnley, to English football.

Accies chairman Ronnie MacDonald told the club website: "Our sadness at his departure is outweighed by our feeling of pride in his success.

"The transfer of James comes exactly one year after James McCarthy moved to Wigan and I am confident that 'Auld' James will be just as successful in England.

"James is the third player to graduate from the youth academy to the English Premier League and great credit is due to all of our dedicated management, coaching and medical staff who have assisted him in his development.

"We wish James every success in his new challenge. He fully deserves the financial rewards he will now enjoy."

Hamilton manager Billy Reid, who is believed to be interested in signing Wigan midfielder Jonathon Routledge, had mixed feelings about the departure.

"I'm delighted and gutted at the same time," he said.

"I had told him a while ago that his time would come to play at that level and that time has come.

"Moving from Hamilton to Wigan is huge progress, with all respect to us.

"He has been sensational for us and he will be sorely missed."

A loan move is a possibility for 20-year-old Routledge, who spent much of last season on loan at Swedish outfit Ostersund, now managed by former Hearts midfielder Lee Makel.

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see also
Dundee rebuff Accies' Curier bid
21 Jul 10 |  Dundee
Accies anticipate McArthur switch
18 Jul 10 |  Hamilton
Accies' McArthur to exit Scotland
04 May 10 |  Hamilton

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Telegraph Scottish clubs face harsh lesson in austerity - 4 hrs ago
Scottish Sun Together in the Prem.. this is a dream - 18 hrs ago Wigan sign Hamilton midfielder McArthur - 20 hrs ago
Sunday People Sports News: Wigan agree McArthur deal - 20 hrs ago
MSN Sports Singapore Wigan to sign McArthur from Hamilton - 22 hrs ago


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