What will James Maddison offer Leicester City?
It was announced yesterday that James Maddison had agreed to join former Premier League Champions Leicester City on a five-year deal for a fee thought to be in the region of £20m, plus add-ons.
The 21-year old was reportedly a target for several top-flight clubs, including Everton, Southampton and Tottenham.
However, Claude Puel's Foxes were able to get the deal over the line and can now look forward to working with one of the hottest properties in English football.
£20m is a lot of money for someone who has played less than 50 Championship games- so why is it that the England Under 21s playmaker is so sought after?
One of the most talented players in the second tier
It seems only appropriate that we emphasise that James Maddison was head and shoulders above any other player in canary yellow over the course of the 2017/18 campaign.
Norwich finished in 14th place, 15 points adrift from the playoffs and below fierce rivals Ipswich Town on goal difference.
Goal-scoring was a key issue for the Yellows last year, who notched just 49 goals in 46 league games; the sixth lowest of any team in the division. However, Maddison was responsible for the majority of these, having bagged 15 goals and creating 11 more over the course of his 49 games last season.
He was four goals ahead of any of his City team-mates and was easily the brightest spark in the whole side. Not only were many of his goals well-taken, his ability to create space and pick out one of his team-mates was breathtaking, while his composure on the ball was reminiscent of someone far more experienced than himself.
Maddison was always willing to learn, and under Head Coach, Daniel Farke, had a man willing to let the 21-year old shine and give him the freedom needed to develop into a confident player.
With similar players in the division, such as Aston Villa's Jack Grealish, being touted with £40m moves, it is evident that Leicester were very astute with their ability to get the deal done so soon and capitalise on Norwich's necessity to cash in on their prized assets, given their lack of parachute payments going forward.
Hunger to grow
Norwich's Daniel Farke arrived at Carrow Road following his role in the Borussia Dortmund setup, where he had spent time nurturing and improving young talent.
This was exactly the reason why the Canaries hierarchy brought him to the club; to develop young players. Given the success of Maddison in such a condensed period of months, it is clear that he is doing a good job thus far.
Maddison could've quite easily gone to a Tottenham or Everton where he may have been on more money. Nevertheless, it is a testament to young James' character that he chose a club where he would get far more game time and have the opportunity to better himself in a new environment.
From his performances last year, it is clear that the City starlet can easily develop into a top-class Premier League player if he is given the right guidance and attention from Puel and co. It is not too unrealistic to think that he could also have a future in the England first-team, should he continue his meteoric rise.
Unlike some players, Leicester can expect their new addition to be very grounded and willing to adapt; something that can often be a rare commodity in top-flight football nowadays.
Regardless of what happens from here, the future certainly looks bright for Mr Maddison. In Leicester, he may have found a club where he can establish himself as a first-team mainstay and a lynchpin for the years ahead.
For this breathtaking young man, the 2018/19 season could well be the one where the world starts to remember the name, 'James Maddison.'