New-boy admits working with 'great man' Maloney was key to Wigan Athletic move

New signing Jonny Smith says the opportunity to play under a 'great man' like Shaun Maloney persuaded him to join the Wigan Athletic rebuild.
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Liverpool-born Smith has put pen to paper on a two-year deal at the DW after seeing out his contract at Burton.

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Wigan Athletic pull off massive coup by securing future of star defender.

And he admitted the chance to work with Maloney was one he could not turn down.

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Latics new-boy Jonny Smith
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“Straight away, you could just see he is a great man," said Smith.

"He wants to play football the right way and, having chats with him and everyone around the place, it seems like a great family club.

“It’s a new start for the club with the new owners - and there is a buzz around the club again.

"I’m very excited to be part of it.”

Maloney had bemoaned the lack of pace and one-v-one ability in the squad since he arrived in January.

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And he's wasted no time in addressing that need by making Smith his second summer signing.

"I'm very pleased we have managed to sign Jonny," said Maloney. "He has all the attributes that we are looking for in a wide player and also the values that will fit in well with the team and our club.

"Jonny can play on both sides and will bring speed to our attacking play."

Liverpool-born Smith scored five times in 38 appearances for Burton last term. and was loaned out to Cheltenham, Fylde, Tranmere, Oldham, Swindon before joining Burton in January 2021.

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And the 25-year-old can't wait to get going after moving back to the north west.

“I’m delighted to be here, and it’s a massive opportunity for myself," he said.

"Wigan is a huge club, and it shouldn’t be where it is in League One, so I’m excited to get going.

"It’s a huge honour - and it’s a dream move for myself to play for a club like this which is so close to home.

“Burton was a good chance for me to play in League One.

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"I’ve played in League One for the last few years and I feel like I’m ready to give more in this league.

“I’m a winger who wants to get at players and make things happen.

"Pace is my biggest attribute and I want to make things happen and get them off their feet.”

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