James Maddison: Should Manchester United target him again?

Nicholas Hughes
Nicholas Hughes Updated: 19 May 2021 15:43 BST 5 min read
James Maddison: Should Manchester United target him again?

James Maddison has been a long-time target of Manchester United and he could be back in the spotlight at Old Trafford again.

The 24-year-old was at his very best for Leicester in their 3-0 win over Brighton at the weekend, scoring two brilliant goals as the Foxes jumped to third place on the table.

Manchester United had laboured to a 0-0 draw against rivals Manchester City the day before, and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer might just have been wondering what might have been had he had Maddison at his disposal.

The England international had a difficult start to the season with injuries and has only started six of Leicester’s 12 Premier League games so far, with three goals and an assist to his name.

Maddison was a key part of Leicester’s early charge towards a Champions League position last season, but as the side began to dip in form so too did he as he ended up with less goals and assists than his debut Premier League season in 2018/19.

But despite that and his early season struggles this time around, Maddison appears determined to muscle his way firmly back into Gareth Southgate’s plans for next summer’s European Championships.

Now with two goals and an assist in his last two league games, Leicester’s No.10 has finally built fitness and confidence back on the pitch.

United have only scored 19 goals in their 11 matches so far, ranking them ninth across the league for goals scored, and perhaps could do with a man of Maddison’s flair and creativity.

Bruno Fernandes is the top scorer with seven goals, three of which were penalties, and is one of only three players to have scored multiple times in the league. By the same token, only Marcus Rashford and Juan Mata have laid on multiple assists aside from Fernandes, too.

Maddison would fit seamlessly into United’s midfield, offering creation and imagination to support Fernandes’ output, but after seemingly missing out on him and signing Donny van de Beek instead, his signing may not be the most necessary for the Red Devils right now.

But with the side struggling to score freely, the introduction of Maddison’s creativity would be an asset and Solskjaer could be tempted to go back in for him.

James Maddison’s season so far

StatisticMaddisonRank in United squad
Key Passes P901.253rd
Chances Created P901.253rd
xA900.342nd
Successful Dribbles P902.8=3rd

In the current side, only Fernandes and Mata are creating more chances and playing more key passes per 90 minutes, while Maddison completes more dribbles than anyone in the squad except Mason Greenwood and Paul Pogba.

The 20-time Premier League champions have battled to find their best midfield line-up, trying to accommodate Pogba and Fernandes in the same time while rotating through defensive midfielders, young players and new signings all the same.

Maddison would surely only be one extra name to be added to the chaos, but his name would stand out above the rest in that area of the pitch.

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  • If Mino Raiola is to be believed, Pogba could well be jetting off soon enough and Maddison could be the man to take his place, while his versatility would allow to play from wide or as a No.8 as well as in the No.10 role.

    All things considered, Maddison is still a Leicester player and he will be focusing on maintaining his fitness and continuing to perform for the Foxes as they aim to go one better and finish in the top four this season.

    But in this form and with the motivation of winning trophies and being further involved in the England set up, he could be on the move from the King Power in the future.

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