Ten Hag could land big Eriksen upgrade by sealing Man United move for £60m “magician”

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James Maddison of Leicester City is expected to leave the King Power Stadium in the summer, and Manchester United is reportedly one of several teams interested in signing him.

The 26-year-old is reportedly a target for the Red Devils, as well as Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur, according to The Telegraph, which claims that it is now looking “inevitable” that the former Norwich City player will move on at the conclusion of the season.

Even if the struggling Foxes manage to avoid relegation, the article continues, the two-cap ace “is set to be sold,” with any prospective buyer needing to pony out between £45m and £60m if they are to get his services, with just over a year left on the player’s current contract.

The Coventry-born prodigy does seem to have been a long-term target for those at Old Trafford; the Manchester Evening News reported back in February 2020 that Maddison was the club’s ‘prime playmaker target’ for that coming summer, with the player himself reportedly eager to make the switch.

What role might Maddison play at Manchester United?

With nine goals and seven assists in 25 Premier League games so far this season, the highly-coveted talent has been something of a shining light for Leicester, despite being a part of a team that has been dreadfully underwhelming this season and may be headed back to the second tier.

The clinical “magician” had a great 2021/22 season, contributing 30 goals and assists in 53 games on all fronts, including 20 goal involvements in the top tier alone, according to Statman Dave.

Although Maddison has recently done most of his damage off the flanks, the adaptable player could also play in Erik ten Hag’s side in a creative midfield position, guaranteeing he could be an improvement over the seasoned star, Christian Eriksen.

There’s no denying that the latter player, who joined on a free transfer last summer, has been a wise acquisition. To date, he has racked up two goals and nine assists in 38 appearances, but there may be questions about the 31-year-old’s ability to be a long-term midfield solution given his recent, challenging injury recovery.

The Denmark international, who was limited to just 26 touches on the day and reportedly “shook his head in frustration at his own performance” against Aston Villa on Sunday, was notably replaced at the hour mark of the FA Cup semifinal match against Brighton and Hove Albion.

As a result, switching to Maddison might potentially be a long-term improvement in the midfield. The dynamic quality of the England international is demonstrated by the fact that he ranks in the top 12% among his European peers for progressive carries and the top 17% for successful take-ons, in contrast to Eriksen, who is only in the top 35% and bottom 19% for those same two metrics, respectively.

Additionally, Maddison’s top 4% ranking for receiving progressive passes, which further supports his forward-thinking and inquisitive approach, highlights his natural creativity, as opposed to the current United player, who only ranks in the top 33%.

Since Eriksen has averaged just 0.6 tackles per game in the league this season, the Leicester sensation may offer more defensively. This further demonstrates how much of an improvement Maddison might be for Ten Hag.

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