Premier League football has often witnessed stars from lower leagues to flourish and take the league by storm since completing a switch to the heavyweights of English football. Examples are plenty – from Adam Lallana, Jamie Vardy to the most recent Dele Alli – these Three Lions stars of the current generation have become the prized assets of both club and country. James Maddison of Norwich City is one such name who is drawing interest from top Premier League sides like Liverpool and as always, their transfer rivals Tottenham Hotspur.
The 21-year-old England youth international is in a scintillating run of form for the Championship outfit with seven goals and five assists in 23 league starts in his first full campaign for the Canaries since concluding a move from Coventry City a couple of years back. He spent the last season on loan to Scottish side Aberdeen but has taken his game to the next level under new coach Daniel Farke who has relied on the youngster and handed him regular starts in the team. Maddison has scored the solitary goal against Bristol City this weekend to earn his side three crucial points and is playing the pivotal role to bring Norwich back in promotion contention.
As per latest reports, Liverpool have inquired about the midfield attacker and Jurgen Klopp, being aware of his talent, might be looking to promote him as the long-term successor of Philippe Coutinho.
It may sound weird but the charismatic German gaffer has always focused on youth development and Maddison might prove to be a shrewd piece of business to serve the Reds in the long run. Coutinho was not a well-established name either when he joined from Inter Milan and even if the fans are expecting someone like Thomas Lemar or Riyad Mahrez to fill the void left by the Brazilian, the likes of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain seem to have stepped up since his egress. Maddison thus will not be rushed at Liverpool and the club should take a calculative risk by bringing him in.
Although he still has years left in his current deal to run out, a fee of around £25 mil is tipped to be good enough to buy his services. Mauricio Pochettino, the Tottenham Hotspur gaffer, has expressed his willingness to acquire more young talents like Eric Dier, Dele Alli, and Davinson Sanchez as he is keeping close tabs on Maddison’s progress. The player is performing splendidly in the ‘number 10’ role and is being praised for his vision, distributing, dribbling and passing skills, set-piece taking ability and finishing traits. His long-range efforts are appreciated as well and the youngster is truly enjoying his football in Championship.
Liverpool have received £142 mil for selling Coutinho to Barcelona and with Naby Keita set to join the Reds next season, the sole focus should be bringing in a top-class custodian to replace error-prone Simon Mignolet and Loris Karius. Also, Daniel Sturridge and Divock Origi are set to be off-loaded and the Reds are expected to acquire a new striking resource using that money. A fee of £25 mil for a promising youngster is quite affordable and pragmatic in such an inflated market and the Reds must not repeat the same mistake like they did in case of Dele Alli during Brendan Rodgers’ realm.
However, the authenticity of the rumour is yet to be confirmed but that doesn’t hide the sheer brilliance of James Maddison.
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