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James Maddison signs Leicester City contract extension; supposed blow to Manchester United!

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

James Maddison would reject Manchester United if playing time was not a guarantee

Manchester United’s interest in Leicester City midfielder James Maddison will all boil down to nothing if they cannot guarantee the player time on the pitch next season. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side has been linked with a £60 million move for Maddison this summer for a number of weeks now. The player will reject United if his playing time is not guaranteed.

United are not the only team interested in Maddison though with Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool also said to be interested – however, the same stance could come from the player, who obviously sees the importance in playing the game he loves in order to develop into the player he has been tipped to become.

The 22-year-old playmaker has risen to the occasion at Leicester since making the move from Norwich City last summer. However, the player came through the youth ranks at Coventry City before leaving for Norwich, also spending time on loan at his former club and at Aberdeen. Maddison has come a long way so quickly.

Maddison is a player that United and Solskjaer should be looking to sign this summer – homegrown, talented and looking to progress his career and win things for his club. The type of hunger is not something that you could say is prevalent at United, especially when you look at the performances late last season. Speaking about playing time, Maddison said:

“I have never been happy to sit on the bench and never will be. I have always wanted to play games, whether that was in League One or the Premier League.

“When I moved to Norwich I didn’t get on the bench in the first game, then I was only a substitute.

“So I went to see the manager Alex Neil and said, ‘I can’t sit on the bench, I love playing football’. So I went on loan to Aberdeen.

“I was 18 at the time and people asked, ‘Why are you going to Aberdeen?’ Well, it was to play games.

“I felt it was the best thing for me. I could have gone back to League One but I felt like I had already done that with Coventry.

“I played 40-odd games there so I went and took a challenge with Aberdeen.”

This could well be a summer-long saga for Maddison as Leicester City are under absolutely no pressure to sell the player. United are also interested in signing Harry Maguire this summer and losing two key players in the same summer is not something any club will want to do. However, Leicester would be rewarded and would be able to replace the pair, if they both left this summer.

In his relatively short career, Maddison has played just 146 professional matches, scoring 31 goals. He has played in League One (Coventry), the Championship (Norwich) and the Scottish Premier League (Aberdeen) and has so far played just one season in the Premier League, consisting of 31 appearances, scoring seven goals. The future for Maddison is good though.

It is understandable that he wants to be guaranteed playing time, as, at this present time, United’s midfield is stocked with the likes of Paul Pogba, who has stated he might seek a new challenge, Nemanja Matic, Scott McTominay, Andreas Pereira and Fred. Marouane Fellaini left the club in January and Ander Herrera left as a free agent this summer.

If Pogba and Pereira leave the club this summer, as the Belgium-born Brazilian is linked with Leicester as part of a deal which could bring Harry Maguire to the Theatre of Dreams, then United will need midfielders and could then guarantee players like Maddison time on the pitch next season. The added value of United being in the UEFA Europa League could be a selling point too, as Leicester did not qualify for any European competition.

copyright: JW