Jewell resigned to losing Duke
By Tom Latchem
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Paul Jewell is resigned to losing Nathan Ellington to West Brom for £3 million.
Wigan manager Paul Jewell is resigned to losing Nathan Ellington to West Brom, after the Midlands club triggered a £3 million clause in the striker's contract.
The former Bristol Rovers player - signed for £1.2 million three years ago - had been disappointed not to be rewarded with a bumper contract at The JJB Stadium after his 24 goals shot Wigan into The Premiership.
Last season's Championship top scorer had been pursued all summer by West Brom boss Bryan Robson, who wanted him to form a potentially potent partnership with Wales international Robert Earnshaw for Saturday's league opener at Manchester City.
Robson has tabled a bid for the 24-year-old and Jewell admitted it is highly unlikely Ellington will be on his teamsheet to face Chelsea on Sunday.
"Nathan's gone, he's history," Jewell conceded to Sky Sports News. "He's agreed terms at West Brom and it looks like he is going there.
"I'm not sure if the I's are dotted and the T's are crossed but as we sit here he's a West Brom player and we wish him luck.
"Obviously there was a clause in his contract that said he could go for £3 million.
"I think Robson has been quoted as saying I alerted him to that clause - I think he must be getting his agent confused with me.
"I didn't say it, that's what I am saying to you - I think it might have been his agent, not me.
"But he's gone and we tried to keep him. I would've liked to have kept him but have said on numerous occasions that if a player is not happy here then he can go.
"He's done fantastically well for us. We took him from Bristol Rovers and I like to think we've done well for him too.
"We wish him well but times move on. We've lost him but we will try and replace him.
"It is a lot of goals to replace but none of those were in The Premiership and it is a different league we are playing in now - everyone finds it more difficult to score goals.
"We did make a couple of offers yesterday (Thursday) for players but they were turned down, so we'll continue the search."
Jewell recently found success in the transfer market, albeit at the other end of the pitch, as central defender Arjan De Zeeuw returned to the club from Portsmouth.
The 35-year-old Dutchman left Lancashire for Portsmouth on a free transfer three years ago but this summer returned north after new Portsmouth coach Alain Perrin could not guarantee him first-team football.
Clearly overjoyed to capture De Zeeuw on a free transfer, Jewell added: "I am delighted to have him.
"De Zeeuw has been a top player for Portsmouth in the years they have been in The Premiership and I think they were quite disappointed to lose him.
"He is a leader of men, has got great experience and is a fantastic professional."
As with almost all clubs promoted into England's elite, Wigan are among the favourites for an immediate return to The Championship.
Jewell hinted that his new boys could spring a surprise this season, and warned Chelsea: "You under-estimate us at your peril.
"We're not just going in with trepidation and first things first we want to get a result on Sunday.
"We might surprise one or two people in The Premiership."