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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jul 20, 2006

Landzaat delighted to join Jewell at the JJB

Denny Landzaat has revealed it was manager Paul Jewell who convinced him to join Wigan.

Not for the first time, the influential and charismatic Jewell has been pivotal in the recruitment of a new player at Wigan, this time a proven Holland international in Landzaat.

The 30-year-old could easily have joined Espanyol and enjoyed all the comforts the city of Barcelona has to offer, but instead his home for the next three years will be Wigan.

That is primarily thanks to Jewell and Landzaat, who has 21 caps, said: 'When I spoke with the manager he sold me on his ideas and ambitions for the club, and that matched my own ambitions.

'I heard from other Dutch players in the national team that he is a good, young manager who improves players. That's good for me. I feel he is someone who can improve my own game.'

Midfielder Landzaat, signed from AZ Alkmaar, where he was captain, for £2.5million, readily concedes he had not heard of Wigan prior to the club's exploits last season.

The Latics finished 10th in their debut season in the Premiership, while they were also beaten Carling Cup finalists.

Landzaat appreciates 'the challenge will be tougher' next season, but reckons Jewell is the man who can deliver.

He said: 'Last season they had a really great season, and it's going to be difficult to achieve that again.

'But the manager and club have the ambition to do better, and that is why I'm here, to not only play in the Premier League but to help them improve.'

Although AZ finished second in the Dutch Eredivisie last season, and qualified for the UEFA Cup, after spending all his playing career in Holland, Landzaat knew it was time to move abroad.

'In Holland I could have stepped up to a top club, but I am 30 and I feel good and strong,' added Landzaat.

'At that age, when a chance comes along to play in the Premier League, then you have to take that chance.

'The other players in the Dutch team said to me the same. They told me to do it because it is really exciting. I know I've made the right decision.'

Landzaat has also chosen squad number 14, which is of significance as it was Dutch legend Johan Cruyff's number when he played for Holland.

Landzaat is now hoping some of Cruyff's magic will rub off on his new career at Wigan as he said: 'Everybody knows the number 14 in Holland was the number of Johan Cruyff. It's a special number.

'In club football in Holland we only play with one to 11, but here in England you have squad numbers so when I saw it was available, I took it.

'Now I hope it will be special for me because he was a great player.'