Home from home for Scot Maloney

Shaun Maloney
Shaun Maloney

SHAUN Maloney insists he won’t have any trouble settling in at Wigan Athletic, after becoming the latest member of the club’s Tartan Army.

The 28-year-old joined Latics from Celtic on transfer deadline day, and becomes the fifth man lured south of the border by Roberto Martinez in the last two years.

Wigan have done well out of the Scottish market, with Gary Caldwell, James McCarthy, James McArthur and Conor Sammon all proving successful purchases.

And Maloney – who played against both Martinez (Motherwell) and Graeme Jones (Clyde) during their brief playing spells in the SPL – admits it can only help his bedding-in process.

Maloney told the Evening Post: “I already know a few players in the squad, so it’ll be nice to see some familiar faces around the place.

“I know Gary particularly well from his time with Celtic and with Scotland, and I spoke to him a lot before I made my decision.

“We were very good friends before he left – I was very sad to see him leave Celtic.

“It’s funny how things work out, though, with me joining him here at Wigan.

“He was obviously pleased that the deal was going to happen, and very happy for me personally to be coming on board.

“As well as the players, there’s even some of the staff here who I know from Scotland, so there’ll be no problems whatsoever settling in.”

This is Maloney’s second crack at the Premier League, after a short and not-very-sweet spell under Martin O’Neill at Aston Villa in 2007/8.

“It probably wasn’t the right time for me to come down last time, the circumstances maybe weren’t right,” he admitted.

“The chance of coming down to Villa with my old manager from Celtic made it a big pull, but it just didn’t work out that way.

“Hopefully now, a few years down the line, it’ll work out and I’m genuinely excited about playing in the Premier League.

“The gaffer has spoken about what he’s trying to do to improve the club, and the way he speaks, so passionately, made me very excited about the prospect of working for him.

“He’s a big believer in passing the ball around, which suits my game down to the ground, so hopefully it’ll be a perfect fit.

“I have had a quick look at the fixture list so I know the next game is Manchester City away – which will be a tough start.

“But games like that are there to be enjoyed, and it’s part of the reason I’ve come down here.”

Maloney will wear the No.10 shirt vacated by Charles N’Zogbia, with fellow new-boy Albert Crusat taking No.7 and Patrick van Aanholt No.22.