Arsenal insider Charles Watts has provided an update on the club’s pursuit of Leicester City midfielder James Maddison.
One of the biggest problems that faced Mikel Arteta’s men last season was a lack of creativity, and one player in their sights to fix that problem has been the Foxes midfielder. He can certainly provide it, having bagged 27 goals in addition to the 20 assists since his move to the King Power.
Arsenal have reportedly become desperate in their attempts to bring him to the Emirates Stadium, with Football.London claiming that the Gunners are willing to offer up any one of a number of players to make the deal happen, with the likes of Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Joe Willock, Reiss Nelson and Eddie Nketiah among those named as potential options.
However, speaking about the matter during a Q&A on his channel, Watts claimed that offering up players in exchange wouldn’t necessarily make the deal any more likely to happen given the reluctance that the Foxes might have in taking someone in exchange:
“This whole talk of swap deals and all that, I just don’t see there’s any player that Leicester are going to want from Arsenal that is going to sweeten that deal. I think if Arsenal are going to sign Maddison, they’re going to have to pay the full price, I just don’t see Leicester wanting a Maitland-Niles, or Willock, or Nelson and Eddie Nketiah, I just can’t see it.
“Leicester are very smart when it comes to their transfers – you talk to anyone in and around Leicester, anyone who knows that club and the way it operates and the way they work in the transfer market, they are very smart.
“And just getting a player sort of thrown on them as part of a swap deal, I just don’t think that’s going to happen. So if Arsenal are going to sign Maddison, they are going to have to spend £50m, £60m, £65m, £70m, even. Whatever Leicester want, Arsenal are going to have to hit that.”
TIF Thoughts on Charles Watts’ comments about James Maddison’s potential Arsenal move…
Can Arsenal afford to sign Maddison?
It does put Arsenal in a rather precarious position when it comes to trying to sign Maddison, because having already spent a large amount of money sorting out their defence and midfield, you have to wonder just how much of the transfer budget is left to fork out on fixing what was arguably their biggest flaw last season.
Therefore, perhaps they have gone about this the wrong way and should have sorted out their attacking problems first, before moving onto a backline that didn’t need all that much tweaking considering they were one of the tighter defences in the league last season.
Now, they could be put in a position of having to settle for buying someone of much lower quality to fill that space, or gambling that someone young like Emile Smith Rowe can develop into something for the future.