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Editors Blog: Shaun Maloney a January Departure?

His performances this year have been erratic to say the least, but Shaun Maloney has proven consistently on the international stage that he is a force to be reckoned with. Could that see him leave in January?

Chris Brunskill

The man who was invisible for the first six months of how Wigan Athletic life, but will for ever be immortalised for being part of the team which saw us beat Manchester United. Shaun Maloney has become a beacon of hope and inspiration for us over his years here. Recently though his performances have been way below par, or least they have been in the blue and white strips.

In the blue of Scotland well Shaun Maloney seems to be hitting top gear at the moment. He scored in the previous set of internationals bagging a goal against Poland. Which was followed up on Friday night with is wonder goal against the Republic of Ireland. But just is he doing so much better for them?

Well I think the irony is that Maloney plays better when the level of the opposition is at a better quality or the game is played at a less physical level. Shaun has over the past few years hit if top form, and in the Premier League for us was incredible at times, in the Championship he has struggled.

You could argue that he hasn't really been fit totally for us since his hip operation last year, and that Uwe Rosler's tactics didn't allow Shaun to express himself. Even so a player of his ability, you would still expect better and for me it comes down to the players and teams we face against and the ways they try to take Shaun out of the game; by physically forcing him out.

Could the introduction of a new manager change things? Well hopefully so, maybe give Shaun freedom to float and play him off the front man in front of two deep lying midfielders' and maybe we could see the best of him. But it comes down to a lot of if's and but's.

The other major talking point has to be around if he will even be here after January. There will be teams in the Premier League looking at Shaun wondering if he is worth the risk. If interest for the player came in, it maybe hard for us to hold onto him. Playing as well as he is for Scotland most certainly is putting him in the shop window and he has a chance to do it again against England this coming week.

Hitting good form with us at Wigan could be a massive boost for our chances of climbing up the league, it could however see Shaun head closer to the exit door. Clearly who ever takes over the reigns at the club will have a big job to try and keep players like Shaun at this club.