Reports have emerged in the newspapers today linking Manchester United with a move for Leicester’s James Maddison.
The 22-year-old attacking midfielder created more chances than any other player in the league this season and, when compared with all players with 1000 minutes in the top five leagues he ranked eighth with 3.2 per game. For what it’s worth, those statistics put him ahead of the likes of Lionel Messi and Eden Hazard.
However, reports claimed he was hesitant over committing his future to United because of our lack of Champions League football. While for many players that may be a reasonable reservation, the fact Maddison grew up supporting United and has never played in any European cup competition, it’s unlikely that will be too off-putting.
The Evening News published photos today showing Maddison in a variety of United shirts when he was a youngster.
Speaking as a teenager when at Coventry, the club whose academy he graduated from, he spoke of his boyhood love for United.
My idol is Cristiano Ronaldo; I always looked up to him because when I was younger I was more of a Man United fan – my first memory was them beating Bayern Munich and my dad running around the table with me.
I like to have a lot of the ball at my feet, dribble with it, take players on, draw them in. That’s how I earn a lot of fouls I think. Big strong defenders think ‘I’m just going to show him what I’m all about’ and I’ll nick it away and win a free-kick. That’s the way I play; I like to express myself. Call it cocky or arrogant or whatever – I’ve been told that in many different ways – but if that’s me that’s me.
In September, he was interviewed by England U-21 teammate Angus Gunn and reiterated his feelings on both Ronaldo and United.