Wigan Athletic have announced the signing of 24 year old central striker Will Grigg from Brentford.
The 5 ft 11 in tall Grigg was born in Solihull and progressed through the Birmingham City youth system. At the age of 17 he joined Walsall where he was to spend five seasons. scoring 27 goals in 99 appearances. In July 2013 he signed for Brentford for a fee that was to rise to £405,000. However, Grigg did not have the successful time he would have hoped for at Griffin Park, often being played out of position by Uwe Rosler. Last season he went on a season long loan to MK Dons where he made a major contribution to a promotion winning team, scoring 22 goals in 50 appearances.
In order to learn more about Grigg’s time at MK Dons we reached out to Harry Wright the Cowshed Chronicles BlogSpot.
Here’s over to Harry:
When Will Grigg arrived in Milton Keynes on a season-long loan from newly promoted Brentford, the midlands-born striker was the second of three young, hungry strikers Karl Robinson was to employ for the 2014/15 season after Tom Hitchcock was acquired on a free transfer from QPR. A week later Benik Afobe joined from Premier League Arsenal and the Dons front line, that was to score 101 league goals, was complete.
The Northern Ireland international was to make an instant impact at Stadium:MK, netting an equaliser in the Dons season opener as we came from 2-0 down to triumph 4-2, however it didn’t take long for Grigg to truly endear himself to the Dons faithful as the frontman scored the first two goals in our unforgettable 4-0 annihilation of Manchester United in the Capital One Cup, famously using his chest to caress the ball past a helpless David De Gea.
Playing second fiddle to the prolific Afobe for the first half of the season, Grigg had to accept he was not going to be given a constant run of starts due to Karl Robinson’s rotation policy as Afobe grabbed himself 19 goals until Wolves decided to pay big money to lure the England u21 international to Molyneux in mid January. The departure of Afobe was followed up by Tom Hitchcock’s loan move to fellow League One club Fleetwood Town and left the former Walsall forward as the lone striker at Stadium:MK and oh how he delivered.
A blistering second half of the season containing a crucial brace away at Swindon left Grigg with 20 league goals from 43 games taking his total tally for the season to 22, only the second ever player to reach the milestone of 20 league goals in a Dons jersey, finished off with a header against Yeovil in a 5-1 demolition resulting in the Dons automatic promotion to the Championship for the first time.
But it’s not just the goals Grigg gets that made him a fans favourite in Milton Keynes, despite not even being our player, it’s the manner in which he plays and the qualities he brings to the squad as a whole.
Without having much strength due to being just 5’11 Grigg is a very clever player, his movement and trickery to evade defenders often means he finds himself in acres of space. A classy, natural goal scorer, Grigg is a poacher, frequently in the right place at the right time to finish off the hard work done by those supporting him. Effective yet unspectacular the forward will get goals wherever he plays for sure.
Grigg’s work rate his also very good, never giving up on chasing a lost cause, combining an element of comedy in his celebrations with a dance branded ‘the Griggle’ by Dons fans, the striker’s personality rubs off on the fans and team mates alike and will not only add quality to the squad but also lighten up the dressing room at the DW stadium.
Grigg is undoubtedly a brilliant signing at League One level with proven experience and quality. The only question will be, can Wigan get enough support up to him to the poacher to get the goals to fire Wigan back to the second tier?