It was in particular the play of the 29-year-old that helped keep the Laticsâ€™ in the Premier League after having come over on loan from Bolton. Al Habsi made 34 appearances for Wigan and broke a club record for the least losses in a Premier League season, 14, while registering eight shutouts.
Manager Roberto Martinez told the clubâ€™s official website, â€œWe are delighted to announce the best possible news for Wigan Athletic in securing Ali permanently. During his loan at our football club last season, Ali brought a great degree of professionalism in his daily work and put in many outstanding performances in the Premier League. Being voted player of the season reflects [not only] the huge impression that Ali had on the pitch but also the feeling of the supporters towards him. After making it really clear that he wanted to play for Wigan Athletic, moving forwards weâ€™ve done everything possible to make this happen. The chairman and everyone at the football club are delighted that Ali will be staying and Iâ€™m sure every single Latics fan will feel extremely proud and be able to enjoy a great day after hearing this news.â€
This is great news for Al Habsi, as well as for his home country of Oman, and for Muslim sports fans everywhere.