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Transfer Rumor: James Maddison to Arsenal

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The Gunners are looking elsewhere for creative attacking reinforcements.

Leicester City v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images

Arsenal are interested in Leicester City playmaker James Maddison, according to reports. The Gunners believe an offer over £60M would convince the Foxes to part with the 24-year old attacker. The surprising interest in Maddison comes as Mikel Arteta shifts his transfer attention since the news that primary target Martin Ødegaard was likely to remain at Real Madrid this summer.

Maddison would, without a doubt, improve Arsenal. He is Premier League tested and proven, having made more than 30 league appearances for Leicester in each of the three years he’s been at the club. He scored eight goals last season and added seven assists in the Prem, and his production has been consistent since joining the Foxes in 2018.

His advanced statistics are impressive, 80th percentile or above in most categories tracked by fbref. If I had to find something to criticize, I’m a little concerned that he’s only in the 62nd percentile for non-penalty xG despite being in the 96th percentile for shots, which indicates that his shot selection might not be the best. That concern raised by that difference is assuaged somewhat by the painfully obvious need for shots of any kind, in the Arsenal attack.

More concerning for me is the price tag. I don’t think he’s overpriced at £60M but that does include the English tax, and it’s a lot of money for a club like Arsenal that may not be flush with cash and has several positions of need. Then again, if Arsenal are going to make one big move this summer and a handful of smaller ones, adding a proven but still young attacking midfielder is probably the right one to splash on.

I think I’ve talked myself into this move. James Maddison to Arsenal. Make it happen, Edu.