Wigan Athletic boss Steve Bruce believes Ben Watson is well-placed to take on the mantle left by Wilson Palacios who moved to Tottenham last month.
The 23-year-old former Crystal Palace player joined the Latics in a £2million deal in January rather than Middlesbrough but has still to make his first start for Bruce's side.
However, the Wigan boss told the Evening Post: "You'll have to ask Ben the exact reasons he chose us over Middlesbrough, but our position in the league obviously had a bearing.
"We sold him the club the same way we did to Wilson Palacios the year before.
"Here was his chance to come and play in the Premier League and prove himself at this level of football. Can he do what Wilson did with us?
"We always try to sell the club to potential signings by offering them the chance to show their talents here and then move on.
"It's sad when the time comes for a player to move on, but I think our supporters understand how we have to work.
"I would have loved to have kept Wilson but it just wasn't possible when we got the bid from Tottenham."