Tottenham Hotspur’s quest to find a new attacking playmaker should see them turn to James Maddison this summer.
During a recent interview with reporters, manager Antonio Conte hinted at the fact that a no.10 could be high on the agenda during the off-season and the Leicester City gem would surely be an ideal candidate.
Earlier this month, The Sun claimed that Spurs had entered the race – alongside arch-rivals Arsenal – to sign the Englishman, who could be sold by the Foxes in a bid to bolster other areas of Brendan Rodgers’ playing squad.
Maddison is thought to be valued in the region of £60m, as per the report, and he has since been backed as a player that would suit the Lilywhites and the Italian head coach.
“He’s a very intelligent attacking player. He scores goals, gets loads of assists, and he’s a player Tottenham have been crying out for,” former Leeds striker-turned-pundit Noel Whelan told Football Insider.
“They got Giovani Lo Celso after Christian Eriksen left – that never worked out. They’re really missing that midfield player who has an eye for a killer pass.
“He’s proved he can do it in the Premier League by being a very important piece of the puzzle for Leicester.
“I think he would suit Tottenham down to the ground. With that front three in front of him, they could go to the next level with him.”
Indeed, the north London outfit have lacked that true attacking midfielder to sit in the hole behind the likes of Harry Kane and Heung-min Son, and given his experience and current form in the top-flight, there won’t be many better candidates than Maddison.
As per Transfermarkt, the 25-year-old maestro has delivered 14 goals and nine assists across 45 appearances in all competitions this season, averaging a direct contribution once every 126 minutes, which is better than the figures Eriksen put up before his departure.
The Dane scored or assisted every 152 minutes in a Spurs shirt, whilst the bulk of Conte’s creativity has come from the usual suspects – the aforementioned attacking duo, who have combined for 14 assists alone.
Pairing Maddison with the likes of Kane, Son and winter arrival Dejan Kulusevski has got to be a mouthwatering prospect with the Leicester star once being dubbed a “special talent” by The Times’ Henry Winter.
Just like Eriksen, the £45m-rated dynamo could also provide Conte with a major threat from set-pieces, having drawn a great deal of inspiration from one of the best to ever do it, David Beckham, growing up.
An average of 1.4 key passes per game across the Premier League, Europa League and Carabao Cup this season further highlights his creative ability and it’s one that could see Kane and co absolutely thrive upfront.
So, on the above evidence, sporting director Fabio Paratici and Tottenham’s recruitment team would be foolish to not consider the Foxes gem heading into next season.
Just as Whelan suggests, he could be the perfect fit for what Spurs need this summer.