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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jul 11, 2006

Kirkland joins Wigan on six-month loan deal

Chris Kirkland hopes to resurrect his career with Wigan after being told by Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez his days at Anfield are over.

Kirkland has signed a six-month loan deal with Wigan, with a view to a permanent deal, and with the hope his run of bad luck with injuries is behind him.

But there is no going back to Liverpool, his boyhood heroes and the club he joined in 2001 for £6million from Coventry.

During his four seasons on Merseyside, Kirkland made just 45 appearances due to his injury problems, resulting in another loan move to West Brom last season.

After playing in Albion's first 10 Premiership games, another injury led to the 25-year-old playing in just two FA Cup matches beyond that.

Now Wigan have stepped in, with Kirkland looking to secure a long-term contract. He said: 'There's no going back to Liverpool, the gaffer has made that clear.

'I've been told it's best I move on and to look elsewhere.

'When I joined Liverpool I was very proud to sign for them because it is a club I have always supported, but some things don't work out in life.

'When you are not wanted somewhere it's hard to stay, so as far as I'm concerned I'm now a Wigan player and hopefully on January 1 I can sign a proper contract.'

The on-off deal has taken a month to resolve, but with registration finally coming through today, Kirkland was able to train with his new team-mates.

'I've not been the nicest person to be around for the last 48 hours because of all the problems, but I'm glad it's all over now,' added Kirkland.

'I see this as a fresh start. It's like I'm starting my career again because it has been very stop-start over the last few years. It's been very frustrating.

'I want people to stop talking about the injuries, to stop saying `oh, Chris Kirkland, always injured', and say `this lad is good, he can play'.

'I know I've the determination and the drive to get my form back.'

Although never capped by England, Kirkland has previously trained with the squad, and returning to the international fold is a long-term ambition.

'I'm not thinking about England,' insisted Kirkland.

'That's the last thing on my mind at the moment because first I have to get back to playing regular club football.

'If I don't do that then I'm not going to get into the England squad.

'But hopefully if I get a good season under my belt, then maybe sometime in the future I might get into a squad.'

Jewell, meanwhile, is fully expecting Pascal Chimbonda to return to first-team training at the end of the month.

Chimbonda has been given the next few weeks off after his involvement with France's World Cup squad, however, beyond that his future is uncertain.

After handing in a shock transfer request on the final day of last season, a £6million price tag remains on his head.

Spurs and West Ham have shown interest, with the latter ready to pay £4million for the right-back, but Wigan are refusing to budge from their asking price.

Jewell, though, is willing to welcome Chimbonda back into the fold providing he shows a willingness to play for the Latics.

'I've not had any contact with him while he has been at the World Cup, although I did send him a message ahead of the final wishing him good luck,' said Jewell.

'He will now have a few weeks off because he has been with the France squad all summer, and he is due in on July 30.

'I expect him to come back with his attitude right and spot on, and if that's the case he will be considered for selection. If it's not the case, he won't be.'