Wigan Athletic have announced the signing of Gavin Massey from Leyton Orient. The 24 year old forward, 5 ft 8 in tall, was a free agent following the London club’s relegation from the EFL.
On signing Massey, Latics manager Paul Cook commented on the club’s website that: “Gavin is a player we feel can do really well for us. He played against Portsmouth twice last season and scored a great goal at Fratton Park. He’s quick, strong and committed and can operate anywhere across the front three. For a player of his age, he has a lot of experience and has played a lot in this division. He adds great competition to the squad.”
Gavin Massey was born in Watford and is a product of their Harefield Academy. The Watford manager at the time, Malky Mackay, gave him his first team debut as a 17 year old in May 2010 at Coventry, soon after which he signed his first professional contract. In March 2011, he was loaned out to Wealdstone. He went on to make 6 appearances for the Isthmian League side in the 6 weeks of the loan period, scoring one goal. After making an appearance for Watford in mid-August 2011 Massey was sent on loan to Yeovil Town in September. He went on to make 16 appearances for the West Country club, scoring 4 goals before returning to Watford in mid-January 2012. However, just over a week later he joined Colchester United on a one month loan.
After returning to Watford he was to be released on a free transfer to return to Colchester. Massey went on to make 158 appearances for the U’s, scoring 20 goals, in four years with them. In the summer of 2016 Leyton Orient paid Colchester an undisclosed fee to sign Massey. He went on to make 36 appearances, scoring 4 goals, last season.
In order to find out more about Massey’s performance over the last season we contacted Matt Simpson of the Leyton Orient blog View from the West Stand, who put us in touch with David Thompson (@DavidTh64301889).
Here are David’s responses to our questions:
What positions has he played in for Orient? Which is his best?
He started off playing right midfield and did quite well early on, even scoring 3 minutes into his debut. He then had a slight knock and sort of disappeared in games for a little bit. To be honest I think that was more to do with the complete circus surrounding the club at the time and him suddenly realising what he had got himself into! Around Christmas time he came back into the side and was playing as a number 10, off of a front man and at times as a more advanced forward. He was superb at this point and scored some great goals (check out his goal away at Portsmouth on YouTube).
What are his strengths and weaknesses as a player?
He’s actually quicker than he looks – he’s not a jet healed type winger but is quite fast. He can put a decent cross in and has a decent touch. He scored a few goals for us, a couple of which were crackers from distance. It’s hard to call him out on weaknesses, as at times he was playing in a terrible side, put together by whatever sucker / idiot / victim was selected as manager that week. He’s not the most defensive player you will see and can go missing a bit.
How does he relate to the fans? Is he a team player? Does he show commitment?
He was popular with the fans, especially around Christmas when he was putting on a one man show at times to try and keep us up. Personally, I think losing him around April time to injury was one of the major nails in the coffin of our relegation as he had been playing so well and teams were scared of him. His effort from Christmas on was excellent and cannot be faulted. If I was being cynical I could say he was playing for a move as he could see the writing on the wall for Orient, but let’s give him the benefit of the doubt and say he was getting stuck in.
What kind of potential does he have? Would you have him back at the O’s?
He has a lot of potential. He’s only 24/25 I think and could play at least Championship in my opinion. He needs a decent run of games and a team that’s going to go on the offensive in games, allowing him to get in and around the box where he is a hand full. Would I have him back? Absolutely. The rumour is we paid out around 200K for him. On a free he’s a bargain.