"In training he was always the best, but maybe for our way of playing he didn't fit in a physical sense, because of his height," said Carew, who joined Villa in January 2007, nine days before Maloney. "But at other Premiership clubs I think he could have been perfect. I don't know if it was the right choice for him to go back, and have that stamp that he was not good enough.
"Maybe be should have stayed a bit longer, and proved he could play in the Premiership," continued Carew. "I thought he was a great player, and was really impressed with him. And the fans loved him because he usually scored when he came on, from free-kicks or whatever. It was difficult for him to get into the team at Aston Villa, but that does not mean he could not have played at another club, one maybe not as good as Aston Villa. There are a lot of teams in the Premiership, a lot of them are below Aston Villa."