West Ham United reportedly missed out on the chance to sign Leicester City midfielder James Maddison a few years ago, with the failure to land the Englishman seemingly another notable transfer error of the GSB era.
Reports back in 2018 stated that the Hammers were one of the Premier League clubs interested in making a move for the playmaker following his impressive form at Norwich City in the second tier, having scored 15 goals and recorded 11 assists during the 2017/18 season for the Canaries.
According to the Guardian, the east Londoners – then managed by Manuel Pellegrini – had lodged a bid of around £12m in an attempt to sign the Coventry-born starlet, albeit with that figure way below the asking price of those at Carrow Road.
As it proved, the dynamic midfielder ultimately made the move to the Foxes for a fee of around £20m, with Irons insider ExWHUemployee suggesting that the club felt he was too similar a player to that of Manuel Lanzini.
That decision not to launch a big offer has backfired spectacularly, with Maddison having gone on to register an impressive haul of 81 goal contributions in just 178 games at the King Power Stadium, with the aforementioned Lanzini recording just 57 goal involvements in 210 games for West Ham.
The one-cap England international – who has been praised for his “world-class” delivery by Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate – enjoyed a particularly fruitful 2021/22 campaign under Brendan Rodgers, scoring 18 goals and registering 12 assists in all competitions.
That haul of 30 goal contributions was only bettered by Jarrod Bowen (31) in the Hammers squad last term, with that man Lanzini recording just seven goals and four assists from his 46 outings across all fronts.
Even amid a difficult start to the season for the Midlands outfit this time around, Maddison has still caught the eye on a personal note, proving a rare bright spark amid the ongoing turmoil at the former Premier League winners.
The £110k-per-week ace has scored three goals and laid on one assist in just seven games in all competitions, most recently curling in a delightful finish on the turn in the defeat to Tottenham Hotspur at the weekend.
Such a moment of quality is a reminder of just what an “immensely talented” asset he is – in the words of Jamie Wilkinson – with it no surprise to have seen him courting interest from uber-rich outfit Newcastle United over the summer.
The Magpies reportedly lodged a bid of around £50m for the one-time Aberdeen loanee’s services, although Rodgers and co were wholly reluctant to agree to a sale, with a fee of more than £60m likely to be needed to prise him from his current surroundings.
That ensures he is now worth almost three times what Leicester paid for him originally – ensuring a potential tidy profit in the near future – with West Ham left to rue their decision not to fork out what now looks like a relative bargain fee of just £20m four years ago.