Manchester United have only played three games this season. The record is far from perfect (W1, D1, L1) but The Red Devils have been better than their opponents in every contest so far. It’s clear this team is missing something, and that’s a spark in the final third.
Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial have started the season on top form. Alexis Sanchez – if he stays – and Jesse Lingard represent good alternatives to play on the wings, just like Daniel James. But there’s a huge question mark left. Who is going to play in the n.10 hole?
Lingard has been playing there, but he fits better on the wing. Same thing with Juan Mata. Paul Pogba is a central midfielder, and so is Andreas Pereira. But there’s one player who could be perfect for that position. He plays for Leicester City, and goes by the names of James Maddison.
What could James Maddison bring to Old Trafford?
The 22-year-old playmaker took the Premier League by storm last season, notching seven goals with seven assists in 36 appearances. He already has two assists in three starts in 2019/20, and looks certain to make his international debut in the coming weeks. Manchester United should go “all in” to sign him at the earliest chance.
That opportunity might come during the January transfer window. Both Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ed Woodward have identified him as a potential transfer target, and United are expected to make a formal approach once 2020 comes around. They know Maddison will be expensive – it is believed Leicester will ask for a similar fee to the one United paid for Harry Maguire – but he could be worth every single penny.
Plus, it’s worth noting that Maddison showed his best scoring form playing as an attacking midfielder last season. He registered four goals and two assists in 16 matches in that position during the 2018/19 season, as opposed to three goals and five assists in 20 outings playing either wide, or in a deeper role.
However, scoring is not among Maddison’s biggest traits. He is a playmaker, and that’s the role where he would excel at Old Trafford. At 22, he is young enough to show more potential, but good enough to feature for a top side right now. He has been Leicester’s top performer early on the season, and Manchester United have every right to be after him. Especially considering the team’s needs and the way he has been playing.
Now it’s time to make a move for him at the earliest chance. He would undoubtedly become an excellent signing for The Red Devils.