Arsenal was looking to reshape its midfield in the summer. They wanted to sign two great midfielders, but that plan wasn’t fully achieved. They completed one midfield deal, a record £105 million swoop for Declan Rice, but didn’t sign another midfielder despite being linked with quite a few other candidates as well.
Some Arsenal fans must be wondering why Arsenal didn’t try to sign James Maddison (a midfielder they admire, having been linked with his signature in the past), who is shining for their North London rivals Spurs (they signed him for £45 million). In 11 games, he has 3 goals and 5 assists. The wonder is why the Gunners didn’t even try to sign him as it was obvious he was keen to join another Premier League club after Leicester were relegated.
Sam Allardyce believes he knows why Arsenal did not pursue Maddison. He believes the Gunners may have considered Maddison’s susceptibility to injury and concluded he wasn’t a good value signing. An injured player is not so useful to the squad, as Arsenal have found out their cost on many occasions.
On the No Tippy Tappy podcast, the ex-England manager stated that Arsenal were not even tempted to sign Maddison despite considering bolstering their midfield, as all they could think of was to sign Rice. “He had the same problems at Leicester, didn’t he?
“He didn’t cost much, so he was worth the risk, but then you have a player who is like Declan Rice, who is Mr. 35 games or Mr. 40 games; those are the players you buy first,” said Allardayce.
Arsenal struck gold when they signed Declan Rice. He has absolutely elevated their midfield. Maddison has also dazzled, but there’s a potential he’ll be out injured for a while, season after season he picks up injuries, which is a good reason for Arteta to prefer a reliable midfielder like Rice.
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