Leicester City boss Brendan Rodgers has this afternoon ruled out the possibility of James Maddison departing the club this month.
Maddison, a 23-year-old attacking midfielder, made the move to the King Power Stadium in the summer of 2018, on the back of a stellar campaign in the Championship with Norwich City.
And, despite his lack of Premier League experience, the Coventry youth product subsequently went on to take to the rigours of top-flight football like a duck to water.
Maddison played a crucial role in Leicester’s top-half finish, starting in all but 3 of the Foxes’ Premier League outings.
He also racked up a none-too-shabby 7 goals and 7 assists in the league alone, with the midfielder’s wicked set-piece delivery and free-kick prowess having lit up the King Power throughout the campaign.
Perfectly showcasing just how impressive a creative outlet Maddison proved over the course of the season was the following statistic:
James Maddison created the most chances (100) and scored more direct free-kicks (3) than any other player during the 2018-19 Premier League season.
Does those sort of stats remind you of anyone? 🎯 pic.twitter.com/f5YnhtKMKX
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) June 3, 2019
Maddison’s creative streak has since carried into the opening half of the new season, too, with 12 direct goal contributions in 23 appearances.
The English international’s form has proven crucial to Leicester’s surprise run to 2nd in the Premier League table.
And it is this consistent excellence which has inevitably led to links between the midfielder and some of England’s top clubs.
The outfit most persistently-touted as a potential destination, meanwhile, have been Manchester United.
The Red Devils are known to be on the lookout for attack-minded midfield reinforcements this month, amid Jesse Lingard’s widely-publicised struggles.
28 games. 0 goals. 0 assists.
Jesse Lingard ends 2019 without a direct goal involvement in the Premier League. pic.twitter.com/YbyESHFIUE
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) December 28, 2019
And Maddison, alongside Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish, is said to be Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s no.1 target.
‘Here in January and beyond’
As such, Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers was this afternoon drawn on the links between his side’s midfield creator, and their Premier League rivals.
Speaking during a press conference ahead of the Foxes’ League Cup meeting with Aston Villa tomorrow night, though, Rodgers was quick to shut down the possibility of Maddison moving on, explaining:
‘There’s no pressure to sell and no need to sell. James is a very talented player and he will be here in January and beyond.’
‘He’s a player we’re keen to remain here and help us on this journey over the next years.’
On the possibility of the 23-year-old penning a new contract at the King Power, meanwhile, Rodgers added:
‘James and his representatives are speaking with the club and these things take time.’
Quotes via Goal