James Maddison was on the crest of a wave at Leicester City and his form looked good enough to get him in Southgate’s England squad but that was two seasons ago and since then, reality has reminded him that football can be fickle.
He has been benched on occasion by Brendan Rogers and strangely seems at a crossroads in his Foxes career, which is perhaps why Arsenal are said to be interested in his services. James Maddison is a creative midfielder, a genuine number 10 that possesses a silky touch and exquisite vision, something Arsenal are crying out for. He’s agile and quick thinking and is a direct player that stretches defences by drawing players out.
Another plus is that Maddison offers a goal threat from distance and from a dead ball situation, which is an area that Arsenal weren’t exactly renowned for the last term. When he strikes the ball it is clean and with power and at his best, he can offer a supply route to the flanks or by pressing up.
On the negative side, he isn’t a combative force and lacks any degree of physicality which means Arsenal will certainly have to buy another player that is more inclined to do the humdrum ankle tapping and chasing.
I like Maddison but I’m not sure that he alone will make a difference. Arteta needs to think about attack and defence together as he tries to combine artistry with durability and unless they buy Yves Bissouma or Albert Sambi Lokonga, it may prove to be an ill-advised move.
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However, let’s look at the type of players that James Maddison could connect with should he come to North London which includes Saka, Martinelli, Pepe, Tierney, and Aubameyang. Then if Arsenal add Ben White and Lokonga to their ranks with Thomas Partey, there is something to potentially get excited about, but Maddison’s valuation could be a real issue.
If Arsenal are prepared to pay £60m for James Maddison they might as well chase Martin Odegaard whom many fans felt should have been the number one target of the summer. It seems that nothing is absolutely clear and with suggestions that Arsenal are once again looking at Nabil Fekir, the midfield conundrum looks far from over.