Rodgers rules out selling Maddison to Arsenal this summer

Stefan Bienkowski
Leicester don’t need Eriksen – they have James Maddison

Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers has ruled out selling playmaker James Maddison this summer.

The 24-year-old attacking midfielder has been heavily linked with a move to Arsenal over the past few months.

With a contract at Leicester until 2024 and currently valued at €53.5 million, there’s no doubt that Arsenal would need to hand over some significant money to sign Maddison before the start of the new Premier League season.

And while Rodgers couldn’t entirely confirm that the player won’t leave this summer, he believes the links to Arsenal are little more than transfer gossip and that Maddison will stay put.

"I believe he will stay. He’s working very hard in training. Clearly gossip and speculation at this time of year,” said Rodgers at a press conference on Thursday.

“He’s an important member of our squad. Hopefully this year he can show the real top player that he is."

Why Arsenal need Maddison

Despite what Arsenal’s transfer activity thus far may suggest, Arteta’s squad actually had one of the most impressive defensive records in the Premier League last season.

Where Arsenal struggled in the Premier League was in their ability to score goals. No less than nine teams outscored Arteta’s side and in many ways that was down to the lack of a genuine playmaker.

Mikel Arteta desperately needs a new playmaker for this coming season

Mikel Arteta desperately needs a new playmaker for this coming season

Indeed, Arsenal’s top assist creator for the season was none other than Willian, who mustered just five from 25 appearances. Then Bukayo Saka and Kieran Tierney shared second spot with four each.

Meanwhile, Maddison bagged no less than eight goals and seven assists in 31 Premier League games last season and was undoubtedly one of the most productive no.10s in the English top flight.

Arsenal may have talented attacking midfielders but they don’t have anyone that can consistently put the ball in the back of the net through his own goals or by setting up strikers quite like Maddison. And as such the Leicester City star would fill a notable hole in Arteta’s squad next season.