Signing a new attacking-midfielder is one of Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta’s biggest priorities this summer.
After seeing Martin Odegaard’s loan spell come to an end at the end of the 2020/21 campaign, the Gunners now face a race against time to discover a new midfield architect in time for their Premier League opener against Brentford in just two months time.
Real Madrid star Odegaard has been pinpointed as Arteta’s top target, with the Spaniard having been left very impressed by what he saw from the Norway international during his loan spell at the Emirates Stadium.
However, the chances of Arsenal re-signing the 22-year-old appear to be slim, with The Athletic reporting that he wants to stay in Madrid and fight for his place next term.
With the race to sign Emiliano Buendia having now reached its conclusion, Arsenal are once again looking elsewhere to solve Arteta’s position problem.
football.london understands that Arteta is a big admirer of Leicester City star James Maddison, with the former Norwich City ace amongst the Spaniard’s summer targets. However, the England international is likely to cost huge amounts of money, meaning the Gunners would most likely be forced to cut their cloth before even considering the idea of launching a formal offer.
But if Edu – the Gunners’ technical director – was to get Arsenal’s house in order, lodge a bid for Maddison and be fortunate enough to lure him to north London, he would be adding a player to Arteta’s squad that is held in very high regard.
And not many love Maddison’s talents more than Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers, unsurprisingly. The former Liverpool chief has played a key role in the 24-year-old’s development in the last few years, and last year compared him to Barcelona star Philippe Coutinho, who has both worked with Rodgers and been heavily linked with Arsenal in the past.
“James is a bit like Philippe Coutinho — they’re players who are recognised for their talent,” Rodgers told The Athletic last November.
“But then to maximise that talent, in order for them to participate in the game at the highest level, they also have to be able to contribute to a press.
“Of course, James has his strengths, so you let him flourish with those strengths. But then we helped him with the tactical discipline. And he’s becoming very, very good at it.”
The summer window is officially open, and it’s going to be tough to keep up with the comings and goings in and out of the Emirates.
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Maddison has gone from strength to strength in the last few seasons, cementing himself as one of the Premier League’s best attacking-midfield players. As well as that, the 2020/21 season was his best campaign in front of goal for the Foxes to date, as he netted 11 goals in all competitions.
Considering Arsenal are crying out for a player that can add goals to the team from the midfield area, Maddison could be just the ticket.
However, signing him will not be easy due to Leicester’s admiration for the attacking-midfield ace and just how much they are likely to value him at.