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Wigan sign Maloney and van Aanholt

31 Aug 2011 20:30:16

Wigan Athletic signed Scotland forward Shaun Maloney from Celtic and also snapped up young Chelsea defender Patrick van Aanholt on a season-long loan on Wednesday.

Maloney reportedly cost £1 million ($1.6m) and has agreed a two-year contract with the Latics with an option for an additional one-year extension.

Wigan coach Roberto Martinez believes the 28-year-old will bring some much-needed experience to a relatively young squad that narrowly avoided relegation last season.

"We're delighted to welcome Shaun, who has great experience and is at the perfect age to come and bring something different to our squad," Martinez said.

Maloney spent the 2007-08 season on loan at Aston Villa before returning to Celtic and Martinez is confident that that spell in England will allow him to settle in quickly at the DW Stadium.

"His previous experience in the Premier League will be a great platform to start his Wigan Athletic career," he added.

Maloney will link up with former Celtic team-mate Gary Caldwell at the DW Stadium and is relishing the prospect.

"As soon as I found out about the move I got excited," Maloney said.

"The gaffer likes to play the right way and there's a tremendous squad here full of great potential."

Dutch Under-21 international Van Aanholt has had few chances to shine at Chelsea, making just eight appearances and going on loan to Coventry City, Newcastle United and Leicester City at various times over the last two years.

Martinez believes van Aanholt can emulate Tom Cleverley, who had a fine loan spell at Wigan last year and has returned to Manchester United with impressive effect this season.

"Patrick is a player with enormous potential," Martinez said. "Technically he is very gifted, very comfortable in possession and physically, he uses his intensity to defend very effectively.

"Like Tom Cleverley last year, he is a young player who is hungry to learn his trade and I feel both parties can benefit hugely from the move."


AFP

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