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Newcastle: Magpies the favourites to land the signature of Leicester’s star man

Newcastle: Magpies the favourites to land the signature of Leicester’s star man -Exclude from MSN

One of the Premier League’s major stories this season has been the fall from grace of Leicester City. The King Power Stadium outfit currently sit just two points clear of the daunted drop zone and have conceded the second most goals in the division. Indeed this season has got off to a disastrous start, and manager Brendan Rodgers has been coming under increasing pressure in recent weeks. One man who has shone out, though, is James Maddison. It continues to baffle many fans and pundits as to how the former Norwich City man is continually left out of Gareth Southgate’s England squad. Oddschecker, which compares odds and provides free offers on the World Cup, has made the Three Lions one of the favourites for glory in Qatar, and surely those chances would only increase with Leicester City’s architect supreme.

Since the Midlands club shocked the world back in 2016 – lifting the Premier League trophy as 5000/1 outsiders for the first time in their history – the Foxes have gone from strength to strength. They qualified for European football in back-to-back seasons, even reaching the UEFA Europa Conference League semi-finals last season, where they were defeated by the eventual winners, Jose Mourinho’s Roma. But this season has been an unmitigated disaster. Back-to-back thumpings away at Brighton and Tottenham in September left the club stranded at the foot of the table, with just one point to their name. In recent weeks they have bounced back somewhat, but it remains to be seen whether they can claw their way back up the table.

Eddie Howe’s Newcastle, by contrast, are having the season of their lives. The Toon currently sit in fourth place in the table, occupying the final UEFA Champions League qualifying spot. They currently have favourable fixtures on the horizon as well. Aston Villa – who recently appointed four-time UEFA Europa League winner Unai Emery to succeed the sacked Steven Gerrard – visit St. James’ Park next, before the long trip down to St. Mary’s the following week. Their final fixture before the midseason break for the 2022 FIFA World Cup will be at home to Chelsea, and will be the chance to make a statement in the battle for the top four.

Is Maddison the man to bring Champions League football back to the North East? 

If, when January rolls around, there is a chance of Newcastle securing a spot in the top four, you have to imagine the club’s mega rich Saudi owners will pull out all the stops in order to make that dream a reality. And the first man on the wish list appears to be Maddison.

The 25-year-old has been the jewel in Leicester City’s crown ever since his £22.5m move from Norwich City four-and-a-half years ago. Prior to this season, he had scored 45 goals and provided 32 assists during his time at the King Power, performances which earned him his first and only England cap back in 2019. But this season, his form has reached a new level. He has six goals and two assists in ten appearances this term, and could you imagine how many more he would have if this Leicester side was performing like the well-oiled machine it has been over the last few years?

Maddison’s ability to step up the plate for Brendan Rodgers now the going has gotten tough is a testament to the player. He could have quite easily hidden away until January and waited for his big-money move. But that’s not the type of player he is, and that is no doubt another reason why he is on Eddie Howe’s radar.

Transfermarkt values the English sensation as being worth £45m, and in the current market, that looks like a bargain. But if The Foxes’ reported financial difficulties are true, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him leave for a cut price. The 52,000 Geordies that attend St. James’ every week will be hoping that Maddison can replicate his form in the North East, and secure Champions League football for the first time since the days of Alan Shearer some 20 years ago.

Photo by Unsplash

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Article title: Newcastle: Magpies the favourites to land the signature of Leicester’s star man

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