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Martinez: Maloney one of PL's finest

Roberto Martinez has said that Shaun Maloney is as good as any footballer in his position in the country and has the ability to play for a title contender.

The Scotland international set up two goals in Wigan's 3-2 victory over West Bromwich Albion on Saturday and manager Martinez joked he is worth as much as the DW Stadium.

But while he hopes to keep the 30-year-old, who is under contract until 2015, at Wigan, he believes bigger clubs could be interested in the former Celtic player.

"I hope not, but it wouldn't surprise me because he's a top, top player and has been consistently for over 18 months now," Martinez said.

"If you look back at last January against Norwich when he first started playing consistently well, I would never be surprised if a club with more tradition and bigger power looked at him.

"But that's a compliment to us and I don't want to see Shaun leave because he has been so instrumental to us to what we're trying to do.

"Shaun Maloney should be playing for teams fighting for titles. I always felt Shaun Maloney is a player who can play in any team and he's got the quality of any player playing in that position.

"I think he's someone who finds space quite easily. He's someone who finds it normal and natural to turn and in football, players who can drive into space is a real strength to break teams down.

"He's got quality with the left and the right, he can take people on, he's got incredible delivery and he's a finisher. So he's the complete package in that respect."

Asked what Maloney's value could be in the transfer market, Martinez replied: "The whole stadium."


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