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Shaun Maloney
Scotland

  • Full name Shaun Maloney
  • Birth date January 24, 1983
  • Birth place Miri, Sarawak, Malaysia
  • Current age 31 years 329 days
  • Height 5 ft 7 in
Shaun Maloney attempts to score
Profile

Injuries have dogged Maloney's career and certainly prevented him from fulfilling all of his undoubted potential. After returning from a short spell in England with Aston Villa, he spent three years enjoying his football with Celtic and even captained the side in the absence of Scott Brown, before making a summer switch to Wigan in 2011.

The skilful wide man made his Celtic debut in an Old Firm clash in 2001 and recovered from a cruciate knee operation to really make his mark at Parkhead. In 2006, he became the first player to win the SFA Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year awards after a splendid season in the green-and-white hoops.

After failing to agree a new contract, he moved to Villa only a year later following a late pre-deadline swoop in January by former boss Martin O'Neill. Transferring his best form to the Premier League was never going to be easy, and admitting he was struggling to settle in the Midlands led to reports Maloney was homesick as he was unable to earn a regular place in the Villa side.

After only 20 months, he rejoined Celtic for £3 million, three times the price he cost the Villans, in a bid to revive his fortunes.

Attempting to add to his haul of four SPL titles, he relished the extra responsibility under Neil Lennon and became a senior figure at the Glasgow club, earning a recall to the Scotland squad by Craig Levein in 2010.

Now he will take another attempt at leaving his mark on the English Premier League, after Roberto Martinez spent £850,000 to take him to Wigan on a three-year deal.

Strengths: Capable of twisting and turning defenders with his dribbling skills and excellent technique. Happy on the left side, he can also play further forward and is able to provide flashes of inspiration to make a difference in tight games.

Weaknesses: Some feel he pushes himself too hard, even over-training, and this is why he has struggled for fitness. Gordon Strachan hinted the player's injury worries led to a mental block about overcoming his niggles. Inconsistency is an issue, as it is for the majority of wingers, and he was angry at being labelled a diver by former Scotland boss Craig Brown.

Career high: Maloney did score twice in a thrilling 4-4 draw at Chelsea on Boxing Day, 2007, but was withdrawn at half time. So it has to be a moment from that 2005/2006 season - he was man of the match in the CIS Cup final win over Dunfermline at Hampden. Not only did he score a fine free-kick in a 3-0 triumph but his display was hailed as a fitting tribute to the legendary Jimmy Johnstone, whose death was marked by a minute's applause before kick-off.

Career low: In 2009, Maloney was rushed back from injury to play in an Old Firm game at Ibrox. The derby passed him by and he was clearly unready for a match of such magnitude. "We lost and personally I didn't feel physically fit enough to do what I wanted to do," he recalled. "It sticks out in my mind as a feeling I don't want to experience again if possible."

Style: Bright, tricky and inventive, a handful for defences.

Quotes: "We've got to smack him around the head every now and again and tell him to stop worrying about everything." Ex-Celtic manager Gordon Strachan, 2006.

Trivia: Maloney was born in Malaysia, only moving to Aberdeen when he was five.

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Nov 14, 2010

Shaun Maloney winces

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