Analyzing James Maddison and which club would be the best fit for him
English midfielder James Maddison has been at the heart of Leicester City's rise back to the top six of the Premier League. The attacking midfielder has contributed nine goals and three assists in all competitions this season, and everything Leicester create seems to go through him.
Maddison is an exciting talent who's future has been subject to an increasing number of transfer rumours. From Real Madrid to Manchester United, various top clubs are reportedly keen on the 23-year-old, and rightly so. Here is a tactical analysis of why Maddison is regarded so highly, and deserves the plaudits he has been getting:
Maddison is a player who can energize the entire team with his style of football. The youngster is primarily a central attacking midfielder but is capable of playing a variety of roles from across the front line too, as a second striker. Modern football demands versatility from players, and Maddison guarantees exactly that. Maddison, as an attacking midfielder, is an interesting prospect. The Englishman has various aspects to his game that help him in this regard.
As the above graphics illustrate, Maddison finds his form in the final third. He is frequently positioned between the lines and shows a tendency to get closer to the goal into areas where he can take his fierce shots.
Style of play
Firstly, he is a brilliant athlete. Quick and strong, Maddison is able to keep up with the pace of the big league and out-muscle opponents when required. Secondly, the midfielder has fantastic technical ability. A good first touch, vision and passing accuracy is a must for any successful play-maker, and Maddison is strong in all these areas. His shooting range and precision must also be highlighted. Maddison's current season has been peppered with some fantastic long-range strikes and his right-foot is a potent weapon from any distance.
As the above graphics indicate, Maddison has enjoyed a productive season in how much he contributes to his team's attacking output. He is largely involved in the final third, where he receives the ball from the central midfielders and tries to make the most of space. His positioning between the lines is also extremely important in this regard.
Which club would be the best fit for him?
One could make the argument that Leicester themselves are the best club for Maddison, given how their attack uses him as a focal point. However, he is bound to be keen on moving to a club where he can consistently challenge for silverware. If rumours are to be believed, Real Madrid, Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea are all keen on him.
Real Madrid would be a fantastic destination for Maddison. At the moment, Madrid do not have an out-and-out central attacking midfielder, and he would be well-suited for their quick and clinical style of play. His versatility could also see him play as a ball-carrier if required in a deeper role.
Similarly, Chelsea could also prove to be a great destination for the starlet. The Blues have faced the issue of not having a recognized playmaker in the side, and Maddison would easily fit into the role, in advanced midfield, that Mason Mount currently has. A coach like Frank Lampard could also bring the best out of Maddison given his goalscoring exploits.
Manchester United might be an odd destination for Maddison given their recent purchase of Bruno Fernandes. The Red Devils are unlikely to play two attacking midfielders in the same side, so it would mean less playtime for Maddison.
Nevertheless, no matter where Maddison decides to move, he is bound to be a success given his talent, work-ethic and commitment to the side he is playing for.Published 03 Feb 2020, 20:21 IST