The highly rated Englishman is being heavily linked with a move to Manchester United. We look at James Maddison, his playing style, weaknesses and try to figure out his next club.
James started at his hometown club Coventry, making his professional debut in 2014, before signing for Norwich City in 2016. Two years later, Maddison joined Leicester City for £25m. His current contract ends in 2023 and, according to transfermarkt.com, his transfer value is currently around £60m.
James Maddison – Playing Style
Maddison is an attacking midfielder, best suited on the left of a three man midfield in a 4-3-3 setup. The 23-year-old’s output of six goals and three assists in 20 League games is already an improvement on last season [seven goals and seven assists in 36 League games].
Maddison is a clearly a very confident young man and it shows in the way he plays. The Leicester midfielder’s main strength is dribbling, which of course attracts a lot of attention from the opposition. He gets fouled a lot; this season, it’s 3.1 per game. Furthermore, Maddison is more than adept at firing from long range.
According to OptaJoe, James has scored 8 goals from further than 18 yards since the beginning of last season. Not bad. Furthermore, his crossing and delivery of through balls is also a strong point of the young Englishman. He averages 2.5 shots per game and 2.5 key passes per match in 20 League games this season. More than promising.
James has been heavily linked with Manchester United since the 2019 summer transfer window, but is Old Trafford the most suitable option for him? Man Utd already have Paul Pogba, who is a similar player to Maddison. Also, the emergence of Scott McTominay is a massive bonus for Man United and when fit, he is a sure starter. However, if Paul Pogba DOES leave, then Man Utd may just come after James Maddison.
For me, the best option is Arsenal. Seriously! Think about it. They lack a top quality box-to-box Midfielder, who can also chip in with goals as well. Dani Ceballos is only on a loan from Real Madrid. Furthermore, Matteo Guendouzi has a lot of quality but he does lack Maddison’s dribbling and shooting abilities. With Mikel Arteta using the 4-2-3-1 at Arsenal, Maddison could be deployed behind the front three or even on the left to allow Aubamayang to play upfront.
Manchester City is another brilliant option for the Englishman after David Silva has announced that he is going to leave at the end of the season. Maddison can easily play alongside Kevin de Bruyne in City’s strong midfield, but is he too similar?
The Bottom Line
Nevertheless, Leicester are unlikely to sell Maddison for anything less than £60m. Arsenal may not spend that much on one midfielder but the Manchester clubs have the resources to splash the cash. Staying at Leicester might not be the worst idea either for Maddison, especially if they qualify for the Champions League. Brendan Rodgers has created a special environment at the midlands club and it would a shame for him to depart so soon. Time will tell in the coming weeks whether Maddison will opt to remain at Leicester, or leave for the ‘big time’.
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