‘I can’t help but feel’ – Alasdair Gold gives his take on Maddison and Zaniolo rumours

Nicolo Zaniolo
(Photo by Gualter Fatia/Getty Images)

Alasdair Gold has suggested that despite Tottenham Hotspur playing down the speculation linking them with a move for James Maddison, he feels the North London club could make a move for the Leicester star if an opportunity arises. 

Reports over recent weeks indicate that even though Spurs are currently focused on moving on players who are surplus to requirements, Antonio Conte’s men want to add another creative midfielder and a centre-back to the squad before the transfer window shuts (Evening Standard).

Maddison has been mooted as a target for Tottenham, with journalist Dean Jones stating this week that the Lilywhites have explored a potential move for the Leicester City star (GiveMeSport).

Over the past week, reports from Italy have also suggested that Spurs would be willing to meet AS Roma’s €50m (£42.5m) valuation of Nicolo Zaniolo (La Repubblica – 22/07/22 via Sport Witness).

When asked about Tottenham’s rumoured interest in the Leicester and Roma stars, the journalist said on a Q&A in Football.London: “Both are very talented and both are players Spurs have had a long-held interest in.

“Maddison, 25, had a terrific season last time out with 18 goals and 12 assists and he’s homegrown. While 23-year-old Zaniolo came back from two serious cruciate injuries to play 42 times last season for Roma, with eight goals and nine assists.

“The club shot down the Maddison links during the Korea tour but I can’t help but feel if there is a movement around the player from other sides and the chance to prise him away arises they might just make a move.

“With Zaniolo, Conte and Paratici will know him well and if Spurs are convinced that those injury woes are behind him then he’s a very creative player if they believe he can step into the Premier League’s physicality without problems.

“Both players’ versatility will also appeal to Conte as they can play out wide on the right if required. My personal preference is perhaps Maddison, purely because he had such a terrific season last time out and helps the homegrown numbers angle, but both are excellent players.”

Spurs Web Opinion

I do not understand why Spurs fans seem to think the club are choosing between Maddison and Zaniolo for the same position. I do not think Conte would want Zaniolo to operate as a number eight if we do sign the 23-year-old. I think Spurs just view the opportunity to sign a forward of the Roma star’s quality as too good to turn down. 

However, having said that, if we do spend £40m-plus on Zaniolo, that would likely rule out spending another £50m on a player like Maddison, particularly given that we are also rumoured to be after another centre-back. I would not be surprised if Spurs signed Zaniolo and ended up with a low-cost number eight like Tielemans.

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