Why Man Utd must avoid selling Lingard to sign James Maddison
Manchester United are on a much-needed quest to fix pretty much everything on and off the pitch. One name that has popped up time and again is that of Leicester City attacker James Maddison, who is one of the Premier League’s hottest stars.
Lingard has the unenviable stat of scoring no goals and providing no assists for the entire calendar year of 2019 and the notion of selling him doesn’t come as a surprise. In contrast, Maddison is an attack-minded and clinical youngster capable of rebuilding his rudderless side next season.
Maddison (23) has 10 goals and 13 assists in 56 Premier League games for the Foxes since joining the club from Norwich City in June 2018. While he is a key player for Brendan Rodgers’ team, Lingard has been unable to nail down a spot in arguably the weakest Man United team for decades.
United have been starved of creativity in midfield this season due to Paul Pogba’s continued absence. They are also light on numbers in the position, going into the season with seven central defenders but only have five now. They also recently lost Scott McTominay to injury. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer desperately needs reinforcements in the position and Maddison is one of the most highly-rated creative midfielders in the Premier League.
Maddison has been in amazing form for Leicester, unlike Lingard for Manchester United. Leicester currently sit in second of the Premier League and the former Norwich star has been a key figurehead. His crossing, through-ball ability and all-round creative prowess have allowed him to contribute with six goals and three assists.
He has been a nightmare to defend against, which is exactly what Manchester United need right now. Their main problem is that they don’t have a plan B and only excel in games which require counter-attacking.
While Leicester are almost certainly a counter-attacking side and don’t rely on possession, Maddison is able to dictate play in the final third and can calm the play down when Manchester United would be in possession. That said, it’s easy to see why Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is interested in signing him.
With Leicester’s season going much better than United’s, and Champions League football looking very likely, it’s hard to imagine Maddison ditching Brendan Rodgers for Ole at this point. Although Lingard appears to be on borrowed time at Old Trafford, a swap deal involving the pair in the January window would be futile.
Whether or not Maddison chooses a new club remains to be seen but one thing’s for sure, it would take some serious thinking if he leaves Leicester where he seems to have it all.