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Newcastle: Alex McLeish left ‘gobsmacked’ by James Maddison price tag

Newcastle: Alex McLeish left ‘gobsmacked’ by James Maddison price tag -Newcastle United News

Former Premier League manager Alex McLeish has delivered his verdict on the Newcastle United pursuit of Leicester City midfielder James Maddison. 

The lowdown: Two bids rejected

The Magpies have seen two offers rejected by the Foxes for Maddison in recent days, one of £40million and one of £50million as Eddie Howe attempts to add creativity to the St James’ Park ranks.

Leicester are reportedly holding out for £60million for the 25-year-old England international who has directly contributed to 77 goals in 170 outings for the Midlands club.

Upon discovering the mooted asking price, one pundit has provided his reaction to what it will take to bring Maddison to the North East this summer…

The latest: ‘Gobsmacked’

Speaking to Football Insider, ex-Aston Villa boss now Sky Sports pundit McLeish suggested that Newcastle should pay up for the one-cap star.

He said: “My reaction to that is, now we’re talking, Newcastle. Now you are talking, he is a superb player. I remember watching videos of him as a kid, him practising with his Dad in the garden.

“He’s a two-footed player and he has tremendous ability. For me, he is a well-rounded player and well worth the money Newcastle will have to pay for him. He would be one of the big signings of this new Newcastle era. I am gobsmacked by the prices you see for players these days.

“But James Maddison is up there with all of the best box-to-box midfielders you see in the game all over the world. I rate him very highly.”

The verdict: Pay up

Whilst the modus operandi from PIF to not spend what the club perceive as over the odds for targets has s far proven to be a smart one, paying extra to bring a player of Maddison’s proven class to Tyneside would be a significant statement of intent from the Toon.

Hailed as a ‘special talent’ by The Times’ chief football writer Henry Winter, this is a potential deal that has all the hallmarks of being a transformational capture for Newcastle as Howe looks to take the club to the next phase of its development having survived relegation last term.

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Already boasting 133 Premier League outings, last season, Maddison scored 18 times and provided 12 assists in 53 appearances across all competitions, earning a sensational 7.32 Sofascore rating whilst winning 4.0 duels, making 1.4 key passes and taking 2.1 shots on average per league game.

That form, experience and overall level of quality see the attacker share similar qualities to the likes of Son Heung-min, Mason Mount and Bruno Fernandes (Fbref), all combining to make the Englishman a superb addition to Howe’s ranks.

Dan Ashworth and Co would be wise to sanction the additional funds to get this one over the line.

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Article title: Newcastle: Alex McLeish left ‘gobsmacked’ by James Maddison price tag

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