James Maddison has started his career at Leicester City in a manner which suggests he is destined to become a resounding success at both club and international level, but a recent report suggests that Claude Puel is lining up a move for a new playmaker.
According to a recent report from Italian media outlet Calciomercato, Leicester, Wolves, Fulham and Southampton are all intent on rivalling West Ham United for Joao Mario’s signature.
Mario joined the Hammers in the January window earlier this year and played a key role in the club’s survival bid last season, but he has been frozen out at Inter Milan following his return.
Without a single appearance for the Nerazzurri this season it’s the perfect time for the Foxes to begin showing an interest in the Portugal international, but with Maddison strutting his stuff in the top-flight there is plenty of reason to suggest it would be a sideways move.
On paper Leicester would be wise to sign Mario: he is versatile, a determined athlete and has Premier League experience.
But during his time with the Hammers it was clear that he’s lacking a layer of quality that you would expect from a midfielder who cost Inter Milan £36 million, and he’s clearly below the standard Maddison has set this season.
The 21-year-old’s elusive tendency to collect the ball in pockets of space and provide intricate moments of magic in the final-third has injected genuine class into Leicester’s midfield, earning him a deserved call-up to the England squad in the process.
He’s certainly no world beater just yet but he’s practically world class in comparison with Mario, so unless Puel is desperate to add depth to his midfield options, the Leicester chief should abandon his pursuit and focus his interest elsewhere.
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