Sam Allardyce explains why Arsenal were not interested in signing James Maddison

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.

Darren N

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Tags Allardyce James Maddison


  1. Big Sam could be right, I had the same concern on the former Leicester city man, but Allardyce is again spot on the money with Arsenal wanting to sign two midfielders in the summer.

    Apart from Rice, another midfielder that was on the reported wish list is Romeo Lavia, a player that the gaffer was already familiar with during his time at the Citizens now sign by Chelsea who is unable to make their team , mobile and physical he would have been perfect to deputize for Partey when injury.

    Arteta may have gotten distracted by stumbling upon the big German, suddenly becoming available, a young international with champions league experience was too much for our young gaffer to ignore.

    But all is not lost, Arsenal could swap Ramsdale for Lavia in January

  2. In five seasons at Leicester, Maddison started 144 premier league games and was used as a sub in 19 more. So averaging 29 games with 4 as sub.

    Is that really injury prone?

    1. Yeah compared to sick note Partey who we retained even when his fitness issues were well known, Maddison seems fit like a fiddle

  3. Don’t worry everyone, Partey will be fit again in time for the Africans Cup(AC). He is always injured every year before the AC and then he is miraculously well in time for the AC, like last year and the year before. It maybe just a coincidence.//He is on over £200k PW to keep the bench warm. Good luck to him, but time to sell him. Sell him when he is fit again in the winter transfer window.

  4. No disrespect to SAM ALLARDYCE, but what he says is a pure guess, as he will not be in the know for certain. Just as we on JA are also not in the know as to why MA bought Havertz and not MADDISON.

    So his comment is pure speculation and can be discounted as having any worth at all as to what is the REAL reason we failed to try for MADDISON.

    I would really appreciate this site changing its name to Just Arsenal Opinions, rather than JA News. as opinions are what this site is all about and actual news is exceedingly rare.

    To regard what Allardyce said as being news, is simply not the case It is his opinion only!

  5. I think Maddison isn’t playing for Arsenal because he’s not good enough. He’s a decent player, but certainly not an upgrade and maybe a step backwards.

  6. Why compare Maddison’s signing to Rice. It should be Maddison vs Havertz. Because they both play primarily in attacking midfield.
    Maddison has more impact on his team than Havertz.

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