Why Marcus Maddison could be the saviour for Middlesbrough in January
According to the Sunderland Echo, Middlesbrough have been linked with a move for Peterborough United playmaker Marcus Maddison ahead of the January transfer window, with manager Jonathan Woodgate keen to bolster his attack during the mid-season trading period.
The 26-year-old has been in fine form for the Posh in League One this term, registering 9 goals and 6 assists in 18 league outings to fire Darren Ferguson’s team up to third in the standings.
Maddison, who is out of contract at the Weston Homes Stadium in the summer of 2020, has a release clause of £2.5 million in his existing deal and was also linked with a move to Sunderland this past summer. (h/t Sunderland Echo)
As per the report, Peterborough’s Director of Football, Barry Fry, has made it clear that Posh are not looking to sell in January, although he has admitted that the club can’t possibly prevent him from talking to the potential bidders should they match that valuation.
Born in Durham, Maddison started his career in the youth ranks of Newcastle United and subsequently featured for St. Johnstone and Gateshead before moving on to join Peterborough United back in 2014. The 26-year-old has gone from strength to strength ever since, establishing himself as one of the best playmakers in the third-tier of English football.
A left-footed attacking midfielder capable of playing as a No.10 and in wide roles on either side of the pitch, Maddison has amassed an impressive tally 62 goals and 92 assists in 243 appearances for Peterborough United in all competitions till date.
Those eye-watering returns have seen him continuously linked with a move to the EFL Championship, and with his contract set to expire in 2020, Middlesbrough are exploring the prospect of nabbing him away from London Road when the transfer window reopens in January.
Meanwhile, Middlesbrough’s unimpressive run of form in the Championship continued as the Teessiders lost 3-1 away at Swansea City this weekend. Marcus Tavernier’s second-half goal proved to be a mere consolation as a brace from Andre Ayew coupled with a late strike from San Surridge condemned Boro to their ninth league defeat of the campaign.
Currently placed 20th in the standings, just three points clear of the drop zone, Boro are crying out for some much-needed inspiration to help them survive in the Championship, and Jonathan Woodgate will surely need to dip into the transfer market to bring in some reinforcements.
A lacklustre tally of just 19 goals scored and 31 conceded in 22 games clearly epitomizes the need to bolster the attacking unit with some creative force in January and the club’s links with Marcus Maddison certainly makes a lot of sense on paper.
Notwithstanding the fact that Boro could possibly sign him for free next summer, as opposed to the fee of £2.5 million that they would need to shell out if they were to sign Maddison in January, the Teessiders are in dire need of an immediate game-changer, and the 26-year-old looks more than capable of turning the club’s fortunes around.
Despite the likes of Marcus Browne, Lewis Wing, Marvin Johnson, Ashley Fletcher and Tavernier all chipping in with sporadic goal contributions, Boro have found themselves bereft of ideas in the final third more often than not, and Maddison’s incredible tally of goals and assists in League One suggests that he is ready to make the step up to the next level.
Agreed, the 26-year-old is still an unproven entity in the Championship but his heroics in the third-tier mean that he could well come through the Riverside Stadium as an instant upgrade on Boro’s existing creative options.
As per whoscored, Maddison averages 1.9 key passes, 3.4 shots, 1 dribble, 1.5 crosses and 2.3 long balls per game in League One this term, figures which speak volumes of his ability to unlock defences and provide that creative spark up top.
Suffice to say, Marcus Maddison to Middlesbrough in January looks like a move that could well go a long way towards solving the club’s issues relating to lack of creativity in the final third, and at 26, he still has his best years ahead of him.
More Middlesbrough News
- Why Wes Foderingham would be a smart signing for Middlesbrough
- Why Middlesbrough should replace Jonathan Woodgate with Neil Warnock
- Why Cameron John could be a good signing for Middlesbrough in January
Having said that, Boro going all out in their pursuit of the League One assist machine during the mid-season trading period could be a massive boost to their chances of survival in the Championship.