Tag Archives: James Maddison

Is Maddison the man for Ole?

James Maddison is continuing to impress at Leicester and is looking more and more like the finished article and one of the elite play-makers in the country. And with United’s current plight, Maddison seems like the perfect fit to come in and save their season.

The attacking midfielder showed flashes of his brilliance last season playing 36 games and getting seven goals and seven assists in his first season in the top flight. With Claude Puel getting the chop in February, Brendan Rodgers has come in and turned the foxes around with some shrewd signings and inventive tactics. Rodgers’ arrival has also seen Maddison step up his game with goals against Liverpool and Spurs as well as an assist against Chelsea, Maddison has become a big game player.

Maddison is Leicester’s most creative midfielder, has a brilliant eye for a pass and can score goals in or outside the box. Add this to his brilliant dead-ball and dribbling skills and it is tough to find an area of his game that needs significantly improving.

Brendan Rodgers’ has pushed Maddison back slightly into a number eight role, giving him more defensive responsibility and requiring him to work for the team more. Maddison has taken to this new role like a duck to water and it has also seen him get on the ball more and dictate play.

United are currently crying out for a creative midfielder with the absence of Paul Pogba, and on paper Maddison seems like the perfect option to bring in. Ole seems to be clinging onto the job by the skin of his teeth and it is almost inevitable that he or whoever is in the Old Trafford hot seat in January will be given money to spend to improve a squad that has looked a million miles away from challenging for the top four this term.

But then begs the question, why would Maddison leave Leicester for United? Right now Leicester have a much better squad and manager than United, and it’d take a minor miracle for United to finish above them this season considering they are seven points behind after ten games.

United have always been able to attract the very best and despite not being in a great place over the past few years, have not lost that pulling power that has seen the likes of Paul Pogba, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Alexis Sanchez turn down bigger money to join the Red Devils. And with Maddison being a United fan as a boy, that could be a key factor in whether he makes the move this winter.

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Which midfielders should Tottenham sign in the summer window?

On June 1st 2019, Tottenham Hotspur played Liverpool FC in the Champions League final, unfortunately losing 2-0 after a first half penalty from Mohammed Salah and a second half finish by Divock Origi. However, if you were to suggest that Spurs would have ended up with a top 4 finish and a shot at winning the Champions League after being the first ever club to not make a signing in a transfer window since the current format came into existence in 2003, it would have been considered a bold prediction to say the least. In fact, it is their last signing, Lucas Moura, who has been instrumental in their run, scoring a hat-trick to come back against Ajax and secure Tottenham’s place in the final.

However, there were times during their last campaign where their lack of squad depth started to affect their performance after a slew of injuries, and this contributed to their poor end to the season. This was evident in their midfield. Therefore, if they do decide to spend big in the summer, this might be the area they choose to focus on. We have identified 3 transfers Spurs could invest in to address this dilemma.

Giovanni Lo Celso

Lo Celso appears to be Tottenham Hotspurs first target of the summer, with BBC Sport reporting that they had submitted a £53 million bid for the player. Lo Celso spent last season on loan from PSG with Real Betis and impressed with his crucial performances, Betis exercised their option to buy the player. Lo Celso was Betis’ topscorer in the league with 9 goals and contributed 4 assists and is probably seen by Tottenham as the perfect successor to Moussa Dembele. Since the Belgian began to suffer from recurrent injuries and then eventually moved to Chinese outfit Guangzhou R&F, Spurs have been missing an elite level ball progresser in their midfield, but they may have found their answer in Lo Celso.

According to Whoscored, across the 2018/19 season Lo Celso contributed to 2.1 tackles and interceptions per game while completing 2 dribbles and 0.8 key passes. Comparing this to Dembele’s 2017/18 season where he contributed 2.5 tackles and interceptions a game, 2.4 dribbles and 0.6 key passes, we can clearly see the similar traits that Tottenham see in the young Argentinian midfielder. Signing Lo Celso will allow Tottenham to quickly turn defence into attack and allow for more effective transitional play. He provides the North London outfit with a different option in midfield to what they currently have with Wanyama, Winks and Dier and therefore would be a fantastic signing.

The midfielder has a £88 million release clause meaning Tottenham may have to bid more in order to get their man, but if they were to secure the signing it would be a quality move.

James Maddison

With the future of Christian Eriksen’s career increasingly in doubt (the Danish midfielder’s contract expires in 2020) Tottenham may have to spend big in the transfer market to find a replacement. Eriksen joined for a bargain fee of £12 million in 2013 and has performed spectacularly for the Lilywhites, most recently scoring 8 goals and registering 12 assists in the 2018/19 Premier League season. His creative output cannot be understated and is an important part of the Tottenham offensive line, therefore it is important they replace him. Enter James Maddison.

When Leicester spent £24 million on the young English midfielder, they probably did not realise they were making the signing of the season. His numbers were impressive in the Championship; he scored 14 goals and provided 8 assists, while completing 2.8 key passes a game and 2.4 dribbles, but it was common belief that his numbers would suffer as he stepped up to a bigger league. However, while his goals and assists dropped to 7 and 7 respectively, Maddison has taken the league by storm this season, he has kept his average of 2.8 key passes a game (0.7 more than Eriksen has at Tottenham) and more importantly, according to Opta Sports, he was the only player to create 100 chances in the Premier League this season.

It would take a large bid to part Leicester with what can now be considered their prized asset, but if he was to move it seems he would almost seamlessly fit into Tottenham’s offence.

Tanguy Ndombele

The final target that I feel needs to be addressed is that of Tanguy Dembele. The transfer links to the French midfielder are not in short supply, with both Manchester City and Manchester United apparently being interested in the midfielder. But what would he offer Tottenham?

Tanguy Ndombele is a high energy midfielder, who has registered 1 goal and 7 assists for Lyon in Ligue 1 this season. The midfielder you could most compare him to in Tottenham’s midfield is Mousa Sissoko, who seems a completely new player this season, with his pressing ability making him the engine to an otherwise stationary Tottenham midfield. However, Sissoko turns 30 this year and has arguably left it a little too late to enter the form of his life and there is no guarantee that he will continue this form into next season, due to his track record of inconsistency. Tottenham may look to replace him with what looks to be the younger, hungrier model who has a much higher ceiling.

Ndombele registered 2.8 tackles and interceptions per game last season and completed 1.9 dribbles per game, so like Lo Celso he is highly press resistant and would allow Tottenham to quickly counter.  With this transfer it appears it will be either/or between Ndombele and Lo Celso as neither would likely want to play second string. Transfermarkt.com values Ndombele at 50 million euros, so if Betis were to push for Tottenham to play Lo Celso’s release clause, he may be the slightly cheaper option. With the purse strings appearing to be tight due to the construction of Tottenham’s new stadium, this may appeal to Levy and the rest of the board.

Is this wonderkid set to move to London this summer?

According to reports in the Mirror Online Norwich City wonderkid, James Maddison could be set to swap East Anglia for the capital this summer, with both Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea chasing the 21 year-olds signature.

The central midfielder has been in impressive form this season scoring 14 goals in all competitions and providing 10 assists for his teammates. With this rich vein of form, the ‘Canaries’ are looking for a fee in the region of £25m for Maddison and with Norwich looking like they’re going to have another season in the Championship the lure of Premier League football may be hard to resist for Maddison.

Tottenham have a history of plucking young talent from the Football League with Dele Alli joining the club from Milton Keynes Dons for £5m in 2014, and also they promote from within with the likes of Kyle Walker-Peters and Josh Onomah been given their first team debuts in recent seasons.

Chelsea, on the other hand, could be too much to resist as like Tottenham they are consistently in the mix for major trophies every season and with the clubs average squad age of 27.7 years, the ninth highest in the Premier League the club may look to bring in young talent and Maddison fits the bill perfectly.

If the Norwich midfielder continues in the form he is in between now and the end of the season, then it will be more than just Tottenham and Chelsea in for him, but one thing is for sure that the ‘Canaries’ will be looking for as much money as possible for their starman.

Tottenham and Chelsea fans which club should sign Maddison this summer and why? Norwich fans would you like to see Maddison stay at Carrow Road and develop with your club? Let us know in the comments section…