Championship side Wigan Athletic have signed former Manchester United midfielder Nick Powell on a three-year deal. The 22-year-old returns to the club where he spent a year on loan on a free transfer after his United contract expired last month.

He passed a medical on 12 July and immediately joined up with the Wigan squad for pre-season training.

Powell scored 12 goals in all competitions for Wigan in the 2013/14 campaign, when he was a teammate of Latics manager Gary Caldwell.

But the former England U-21 international struggled to establish himself at Old Trafford after arriving from Crewe Alexandra in 2012, with his four-year stint at the club interrupted by loan spells to Leicester City and Hull City, in addition to Wigan.

"Nick is a quality player," Caldwell told Wigan's official website. "He's the one player we wanted to get this summer and we are so happy we've got him. When I played with him, he was the best 19-year-old I'd ever played with.

"He's had a frustrating couple of years with injuries and not managing to settle anywhere, but we absolutely believe in him because he's a special player with the talent to get a stadium to its feet. He is still very young and has got so much more to give the game. We are delighted he can continue his progress with us."

Powell's seven league goals for Wigan in 2013/14 played a major part in the club reaching the Championship play-offs that season.

Nick Powell
Nick Powell, 22, only made three league appearances for Manchester United Reuters

He also scored three goals in the Latics' first-ever Europa League campaign and netted another two in the FA Cup during their run to the semi-final.

United paid £6m ($8m) to Crewe for Powell in 2012. He played more than 50 league games for the Railwaymen, scoring 15 goals.