Premier League survival.
The 21-year-old is yet to start a top flight game for the Latics, but produced a fine display during their FA Cup win over Huddersfield last weekend.
This appears to have been enough to force the youngster, who is a distant relative of former Liverpool star Steve, into the Spaniard’s first-team plans.
Martinez’s men are currently second from bottom of the league, and he believes that McManaman could play a key role in the battle against the drop:
“Callum is a real example of what we want in our football club – youngsters that, if they work well, if they apply themselves well, are going to have opportunities.” He is quoted by Sky Sports.
“He’s been working really hard and enjoying his football, and what he did against Huddersfield is going to help the team because that talent is welcome in any group of players.
“We’re delighted that Callum is developing into an impressive young footballer and he’s going to be very important for us until the end of the season.”
McManaman made his Wigan debut in 2010, and has made appearances sporadically since then.
Martinez is aware of the qualities that he possesses, but is reluctant to put too much pressure on him with his career still in its infancy:
“We need to understand he is still a young man and he’s still developing, and he deserves that time and that patience to allow him to be as good as he can be.”
But, he went on to suggest that he can make an impact in the short-term:
“But clearly this season he’s put himself in a position where, as you saw in the last game, he can be effective.”