Leicester City midfielder James Maddison is reportedly a transfer target for both Arsenal and Chelsea.
What’s the story?
The 24-year-old had a stop-start campaign last term, with his poor end-of-season form ultimately costing him a place in Gareth Southgate’s England squad.
Rodgers will be gutted
Despite suffering from multiple minor injuries and failing to score or assist in his final eight league games of 2020/21, the creative talent still recorded impressive numbers last season.
In 42 appearances across all competitions, Maddison bagged 11 goals and laid on a further 10 assists for his teammates, highlighting his importance to the Midlands outfit.
It’s no surprise, therefore, that the England international is attracting attention from some of English football’s most successful sides, and news of their interest will surely leave Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers feeling gutted.
The former Celtic and Liverpool boss has built a brilliant team at the King Power Stadium during his two-and-a-half-year reign, achieving consecutive fifth-place finishes as well as lifting the club’s maiden FA Cup crown.
Rodgers will be hoping to keep hold of his best assets this summer as he plans another assault on the Premier League’s top-four, but with rumours circulating surrounding Youri Tielemans and now Maddison, the Northern Irish tactician may be beginning to worry.
Arsenal’s interest in the England international is described as “indisputable” as Mikel Arteta plans an overhaul of his first-team squad, while Chelsea will reportedly make a swoop for him if Hakim Ziyech departs Stamford Bridge.
Although the Foxes have largely built their recent success off the back of selling one of their prized assets each summer for an astronomical fee and then wisely reinvesting the funds, Maddison’s exit would be a huge blow to their plans and ambitions.
Leicester have sold the likes of Harry Maguire, Riyad Mahrez, Ben Chilwell and N’Golo Kante to their domestic rivals in recent years, but if they want to compete at the upper echelons of the top-flight table on a regular basis, then they will have to stop letting their direct competition cherry-pick their top talents.
If Aiyawatt ‘Top’ Srivaddhanaprabha decides to cash in on Maddison, something which is not beyond the realms of possibility given Leicester’s recent history of player sales, then it could be a huge blow to Rodgers, who will need to go into the market to find a replacement, something which will not be easy given the impact that Maddison has had on his side.