With rumours claiming that Tottenham are eying a move for an attacking midfielder this summer, James Maddison could be just the man for the job.
Despite a rush of incoming signings this summer, it seems Spurs are not done in the transfer market with reports surfacing that Antonio Conte and the club are still searching for a creative midfielder (Evening Standard).
Tottenham were at their best last season when the opposition gave them room to exploit, but that isn’t always the case. So often last season Conte’s side found themselves playing against a stubborn defence set in their block and prepared to fight for a point.
Improving the wingback positions with the signings of Ivan Perisic and Djed Spence will undoubtedly help increase Spurs’ creativity, but a creative specialist is still clearly needed.
While the current midfield options are strong, they lack pure creativity or dynamism. This limits the possibility of Conte switching to a 352 formation. A switch to this system can be very effective as shown in Spurs’ 2-2 draw with Liverpool in December.
All of these issues can be rectified with the signing of Leicester midfielder James Maddison. A report has emerged claiming that Spurs have ‘touched base’ over a deal to sign the English midfielder (Dean Jones via GiveMeSport).
With an impressive 12 goals and 8 assists in the league last season, Maddison has proven he can contribute at a very high level in the Premier League (transfermarkt). With this experience, he should need little time to adapt if a deal bringing him to North London was struck.
Another strength of his game is versatility. While he plays best in midfield, the playmaker has spent significant time playing on the wing (transfermarkt).
With Steven Bergwijn already out the door, and the futures of Bryan Gil, Giovani Lo Celso, and Tanguy Ndombele uncertain (Evening Standard), Maddison’s versatility would fit the squad’s needs well.
Considering the arrival of set-piece coach Gianni Vio at Spurs this summer, a dead-ball specialist would be an attractive asset. Maddison is just that sort of player, with a right foot that can whip free kicks into the top corner or onto an attacker’s head.
Most importantly, he produced excellent creative numbers in the Premier League last season with 3.66 shot-creating actions and 0.70 goal-creating actions per 90 (FB Ref).
All in all, James Maddison has all the attributes to be the creative midfielder Tottenham and Antonio Conte have been crying out for. With a World Cup on the horizon and Maddison out of Gareth Southgate’s squad, it could be the perfect time for a step up for the playmaker.
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