No manager and no Director of Football? The football transfer rumors proceed uninterrupted. The latest from John Percy and Mike McGrath in the Telegraph says that Tottenham Hotspur are interested in making an approach for Leicester City attacking midfielder James Maddison this summer.
Maddison is a good player who definitely fills a need for Tottenham, especially if the club plans to abandon Conte-style struggleball for something more progressive and possession-oriented going forward. Leicester has had a massive backslide this season under (now sacked) manager Brendan Rodgers, but Maddison is doing fine — according to FBRef.com his npxG+xa/90 is up to 0.54, which is the highest he’s had in his career, and that’s on what’s been a pretty statistically poor Leicester team. He’s actually significantly outperforming his xG (9 goals vs. ~4 xG), and only Harvey Barnes has scored more goals for Leicester this season.
That said, the Telegraph states that Leicester’s opening bid is for £50m, and that’s a LOT of money for a 27 year old player heading into the final year on his contract on a team that is currently 19th in the table and very much in the thick of a relegation battle. It also feels weird that this is coming out at a time when Spurs have a LOT of other issues to sort out before they start thinking about dropping tens of millions on attacking midfielders.
However if Leicester are signaling £50m now, that’s probably an indication that they’d be willing to deal and the final cost would be cheaper (or at least cheaper with some nifty performance-related escalators). It’s also worth noting that Percy had Maddison’s potential price at £60m in a Telegraph article in early March; if his price is dropping already, then this should be considered full price and not the actual price Spurs would pay for him.
I’m not a huge Maddison fan but he’d definitely be a plus add on a Spurs team that’s desperate for creativity and passing. Adding this name to the transfer tracker spreadsheet, and it’s probably one to keep an eye on as we move forward.