Journalist Aaron Stokes has questioned the need for Newcastle United to sign James Maddison this summer amid notable transfer links.
As we enter the final weeks of the summer market, plenty of eyes will be focused on the Magpies and whether they will splash their cash on another summer signing.
Despite that, according to Fabrizio Romano (via CaughtOffside), Maddison remains a priority and they will try to move again for the 25-year-old.
However, while discussing the transfer on the Everything is Black and White podcast, Stokes questioned the point of signing such a player.
He said: “I think the question with Maddison is, if they go in with a third bid – which they are apparently considering – it’s going to take out a lot of that budget, if not all that budget.
“In this window – look, I can’t believe I’m saying this – but do Newcastle need James Maddison? Because he doesn’t like playing out wide, he’s said as much in interviews, he doesn’t like [Brendan] Rodgers playing him out on the left.
“I think if he wanted to come, he’d want to be a 10, which Howe doesn’t really use.”
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As Stokes points out, Maddison has spent the bulk of his career playing as a central attacking midfielder, but does have the ability to play on either flank.
And in the past, he has gone on the record to say that player on the wings isn’t really the type of player he is. He told The Athletic: “Even when the manager asks me to play off the left, he gives me licence to drift between the lines.
“He’s [Rodgers] not the kind of manager who says: ‘Right, you’re on the left, you have to go and stick to the touchline.’ That’s not the type of player I am, so it wouldn’t play to my strengths.”
However, Howe opted to play a 4-3-3 in Newcastle’s opening day win over Nottingham Forest and didn’t tend to use a formation that would accommodate a natural spot for a central attacking midfielder last season, either.
With that in mind, it’s easy to see why Stokes has doubts over whether or not the club should be playing £50m-plus on a guy who might not fit the system.