Leicester City midfielder James Maddison has signed a new long-term contract with the Foxes. His new contract will expire in the summer of 2025, according to reports by The Sun. It is suggested that this news will be a blow to Manchester United, who face Leicester in the final Premier League match of the season on Sunday afternoon and had been known to hold interest in the English midfielder last summer. However, the club has now signed Bruno Fernandes.
Brendan Rodgers will be without Maddison for the final match of the season, plus five other players, which could be a blow to the club. United will need to avoid defeat to finish in the top four this season, win to finish third as their goal difference is much better than Chelsea’s who face Wolverhampton Wanderers in their final match of the season. That aside, the reports regarding Maddison say that he has signed a £95,000 per week contract at the club.
It seems weird that this is being directed at United with them missing out. Especially with the big match between the two clubs later on Sunday. Could it be mind games to try and get United off their game? It seems silly if true based on the fact that United have signed Fernandes, who would probably keep Maddison out of United’s team. There is no way that Maddison would work alongside Paul Pogba in midfield as there would be no defensive minded midfielder in the team – which would be great in an attacking sense, just not defensive. It would put pressure on the defence, which is not a good thing right now.
Obviously, United will be seeking to sign a new midfielder this summer, but there are many better options out there now and the Maddison interest seems to have run its course. He is a talented player and has a good future in the game. This season he has made a total of 38 appearances for Leicester, scoring nine goals and three assists. Fernandes has nine goals and eight assists and he played his first match for the club in February. That does not mean he is better and will always score more goals and assists, but right now it is a good sign.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was first linked to Maddison when he suggested that he wanted to keep the core of the squad British and young and the media did the linking up, picking Maddison, who would have been a good signing for the club, if they did not sign Fernandes. I would choose the Portuguese magnifico over Maddison any day. It would be good to have Maddison on the bench though, as he would add creativity when Fernandes was not playing, him being a like for like replacement.
In this day an age though, that sort of luxury is overkill for teams like United. Great for the club in the fact that they will be scoring goals galore and will always have a creative player on the pitch but for the academy, with many talented young players dreaming about making the first team on a consistent basis, it would not work. I would prefer to have Fernandes in the team and allow the likes of James Garner, Dylan Levitt and even Hannibal Mejbri given opportunities in the future to learn from the likes of Fernandes and use their knowledge to guide them into the first team permanently.
Written by John Walker