Wigan's McCarthy, Watson and Boyce sign new long-term deals

James McCarthy
McCarthy made 24 appearances for the club last season, scoring three goals

Wigan trio James McCarthy, Ben Watson and Emmerson Boyce have all signed new long-term deals at the DW Stadium.

McCarthy, 20, has committed for five years, while fellow midfielder Watson, 26, has signed a three-year extension.

Defender Boyce, 31, who is closing on the club's record of Premier League appearances, has signed for two years.

"Having players commit their long-term futures provides the platform we need to build from," said Wigan manager Roberto Martinez. external-link

"In any transfer window, all we often hear about are possible new arrivals and targets coming out of the blue and we can sometimes forget the importance of keeping a really competitive core of players at the club, players who know what it means to play for Wigan Athletic, who have daily standards and the level of performance to make them deserve being rewarded.

"We have been talking to several of our players and we are delighted to announce these first three, with hopefully more to come very soon."

Republic of Ireland international McCarthy, who began his career at Scottish club Hamilton Academical in 2006 and has been named Wigan's young player of the year for both seasons since his arrival, has attracted interest from Arsenal and Liverpool this summer.

"James is a young man with a very big future in the game, and it speaks volumes that he has chose Wigan to carry on his football education," said Martinez. "We are proud to have him as a Wigan Athletic player.

Former Crystal Palace player Watson, who has become an integral part of the Latics midfield since impressing in the latter half of last season, scored in the club's opening league game against Norwich.

Long-serving defender Boyce has made 134 Premier League appearances for the club, leaving him only 11 short of Paul Scharner's club record.