James Maddison Or Nothing?

Thomas Partey was signed at the beginning of last season to bolster the team’s defensive solidity, while his vision was touted to help the Gunners break so many defenses which will make the striker work easier for and deadlier.

But the constant injury woes to the Ghanaian and the inability of the North London club to get Aouar among many factors that contributed to the Gunner lackluster campaign might have increased the urge of the Fly-Emirate’s team to resonate the choice to a more Premier League established and proven master creator in the middle of the park, James Maddison.

The Gunner will be without Dani Ceballos and his Real Madrid colleague, Martin Odegaard and the hole left behind by these two midfielders who were on loan from the Spanish capital club can easily be filled with the inclusion of a new center and attacking midfielder going to the season and Aouar has been the name that comes to the mind of the north London club’s fans since the beginning of last season.

Although there have been many other centers and attacking midfielders links to the Gunners the two most prominent players at the heart of the Gunners fans all over the world right now are Houssem Aouar and James Maddison.

Moreover, the North London club will be hoping to have a wonderful season with their potential signing. But the American fans of the North London club would be hoping that the emerging season for their darling club wouldn’t be like TwinSpires horse race which can be so predictable one minute and not the other.

Although, Aouar has been the top priority for Gunner’s boss since the last summer transfer window but getting the Englishman seems to be the ideal choice since the Gunner is looking to catapult their way back to their old glory, while they are not in contention for any European competition.

Moreso, the North London club are set for a busy summer after enduring a below-par Premier League campaign while they bow out of the Europa League with a 1-0 defeat in the hand of the team managed by Arsenal’s former boss, Unai Emery seal the fate of the Arsenal’s season.

But with Granit Xhaka set to leave the club for Roman’s club, AS Roma, Arsenal’s need for an experienced midfielder is further established. Thus, getting Maddison seems more ideal than ever for the North London club.

However, below are the fact about the James Maddison game that ensure his importance and why it is Maddison or nothing.

Premier League factor

No doubt, the Frenchman, Houssem Aouar is a glamourous playmaker that can either play as a traditional number 10 or comfortably get himself space as a winger with his urge for pace and tricks.

However, just as much as his wing give an edge to him over Maddison, the North London club would be better with James Maddison in their midst ahead of any center and attacking midfielder they might have in mind.

Going into the next campaign, Arsenal won’t be participating in any intercontinental club competition as they are confined to play one in England throughout next season due to their lackluster outing in their 2020/2021 season.

However, beyond their inability to play any intercontinental club competition, Arsenal needs to start their up and running, and would not be advisable to have another player who would be looking for almost a year to hit his best for the club as the agility, and technical superiority of the English compare to other league makes it difficult for any player that switches their allegiance to the Premier League club to grind it effectively immediately except the player physicality, strength and mentality is superb.

Premier League on the other hand have its own effect on any player and while many great players have graced the grass of the Premier League field, it has always been difficult for them to hit it right away in the debut season, while the like of Thomas Partey, Pablo Mari and host of other in Arsenal shirt can testify to such myth.

Premier League is seeming a league that many would have to use at least half or a full season to study before they start to fly depending on their mental strength and innate talents. Even Timo Werner of Chelsea would be looking to forget his first Premier League campaign, not the trophy part though!

No offense to other midfielders that Arsenal has considered outside the league cadre but having an option that can fit indirectly and seamlessly is better for any reasonable man to think about and with James Maddison, Arsenal has their Answer.

A player that has been proven on the countless seasons, under different managers and different terrain in the country, Maddison’s sheer brilliance is a well-proven story among many Premier League fans, thus it brings a reason while many Arsenal’s fans think highly of him.

Thus, getting him sounds perfect to many ears that care to listen to the Arsenal’s choice in him except Gary Lineker who thinks that Maddison signing for Arsenal is a little debilitating for his current state.

Chance creation

While Arsenal was having a better defensive track record compare to other seasons in the past despite their torrid season, their inability to break down a deep defensive block or rigid defense has ensured that the team ended so many matches in a stalemate.

But with Mesut Ozil’s years at the Emirate Stadium, the German Maestro was an epitome of creativity and pernach in trick flexibility. But since his departure, there has been no one who is better suited for the role, thus Arsenal as a team has switched to a direct approach under the guidance of the Spanish tactician, Mikel Arteta.

Although, the direct approach took a greater turn since the team began to deploy Emile Smith-Rowe and Bukayo Saka with more freedom, the inclusion of Maddison to the established pacey winger, yet creative combatant would even more freedom for the Englishman to focus on how to break down the deep-lying defense with an exclusive and precise defense splitting passes that can always give the Gunners’ an edge going forward’

The former Norwich City midfielder is ranked high among the rest in the league in terms of his chance’s creation stats, while he is averaging 0.23 expected assists, 4.5 shot-creating actions, and 2.23 key passes per 90 minutes in the last Premier League campaign despite facing may injury obstacle.

In fact, his creativity at Arsenal would spring up with the kind of talent that Arsenal is recruiting at the moment as they are looking to builds a formidable team that can drive Arsenal back to a Champions League spot in the league

Furthermore, Maddison beyond his on-action creativity, is a dead ball specialist, often delivering a near-perfect weighed corner or freekicks that find his teammate, which is another lack of Arsenal since the departure of Santi Cazorla. In fact, the Emirate stadium owner netted just six times from set-pieces last season.

Goal scoring feat

Since the departure of Aaron Ramsey in the summer of 2019, the Gunners have yet to secure a midfielder with an eye for goal. More so, no Gunner midfielder has found the back of the opposition on more than two times since the start of the 2019/2020 season except Joe Willock who has done so in Newcastle shirt.

Thus, in as many, as the Gunners have been rumored to have any center and attacking midfielder, such midfielder must have an eye for goal and the Englishman fit right into cadre among the midfielders that the North London team is touting to recruit.

In fact, Maddison, score eight goals in his last Premier League campaign with which seven of those goals coming from an open play and one from a dead ball (freekick). With his stat, it is obvious that the former Norwich midfielder suggests he was clinical when any chance is presented to him either as a half-chance or a long-range opportunity

Furthermore, having Maddison in an attacking intent team like Arsenal would make the team stronger in attack than anybody, thus giving their striker more room to explore while he draws attention to himself in the middle of the pack while he’ll be letting loose the pacey and creative Smith-Rowe, Bukayo Saka and Aubameyang in the process or getting the job while the opponent shifts their attention to these players with his thunderbolt or precise placement of the ball to the bottom corner.

Tactical diversity

While the like of Aouar would have been a perfect fit for Arsenal’s direct attacking football, James Maddison comes with a plethora of options and tactical diversity.

The 24-year-old loves to operate in a pocket space left behind by the opposing team defensive midfielder, while he’s been deployed as a traditional number 10 in a 4-2-3-1 formation which could make him transcend the formation back to 4-3-3 with his tactical swiftness and attacking instincts of the wide midfielders by making use of the Smith-Rowe and Bukayo Saka creativity and awareness to a better formational fluidity.

While he loves to drift in right or left half-space to crowd the opposition in a particular area, this kind of move would allow the opposing Arsenal winger such as Nicolas Pepe, Bukayo Saka among others to drift inside on their dominant foot, that ensures that the team has a shot-creating action.

Although, Leicester’s out-of-favor midfielder offers more beyond his technical ability as he loves to press the opponent when his team is without the ball.

Giving his credibility in the Foxes impressive 3-1 victory over Liverpool in February as he continually presses the Liverpool midfield to block their vertical passes between the lines which allow the Foxes to win back possession high up the pitch

Why he is needed the most

Although, it is unsure if his signing would materialize at the of the transfer window, having Maddison is a major signing for the Gunner in a campaign that can easily return their glory as they tend to focus mainly on their local league and competition.

From his insistence of premier league factor to the tactical switch, James Maddison remain the midfielder that tick all box should the Gunners want to be seriously contented for the UEFA Champions League spot again and while some might be seeing the move as a downgrade to his status, the Englishman remains the best choice for the North London  club should they decided to fight for his signature before the end of the transfer window and for the team that needs a different approach, it is better to have James Maddison or better still stick with their current crop of midfielders

About the author

Daniel Gibbs

I'm a Gooner who also brings a wealth of knowledge from European soccer and when I'm not busy with football I'm definitely talking football! My Favourite player is Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and is hopeful Arteta will bring the glory days back to the Emirates.

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