Tottenham Hotspur have completed the signing of James Maddison from Leicester City for £40m.
The 26-year-old scored 10 goals and contributed nine assists in 30 Premier League appearances last season, despite playing for a struggling Foxes side that eventually suffered relegation.
Maddison has been a key Fantasy Premier League (FPL) target in recent seasons but what does his move to Spurs mean for his FPL prospects?
We’ll be looking at this part of the Moving Target, where we’ve included data and images taken from our Premium Members Area.
MADDISON’S FPL HISTORY
|Season||Getting started (sub apps)||Minutes||The objectives||Helping||Bonus||FPL points|
Maddison, who arrived from Norwich City in 2018, made 163 Premier League appearances for Leicester, scoring 43 goals and registering 39 assists.
57 of those attacking returns have come in his previous three Premier League seasons, with 2021/22 his most productive FPL campaign to date.
However, his returns to FPL have been excellent for a long time now. This is his starting record since Gameweek 13 of 2021/22, when he recovered from a slow start to continue to rack up the points.
|FPL points per start||6.1|
In 2022/23, Maddison was unable to prevent Leicester from suffering relegation but enjoyed a solid campaign that saw him earn a call-up to England’s World Cup squad, scoring 10 goals and providing nine assists from midfield .
“I like the fact that he looks for pockets of space. He turns, he plays in front, and not many players play in this day and age. – Gareth Southgate, England manager
In 2022/23, Maddison was used as a no. 8, to the right of the three in front and behind the main striker as a no. 10, which may be his best position.
He is an unpredictable footballer, often trying the opposite of what you expect, and always looking to create a lot of forward passes. Comfortable with either foot, he is not blessed with pace or power, but is happy to outrun opposition players, with great technique and passing ability.
“One player I’m crazy about for England… James Maddison. He is a true footballer — more a product of the street than a product of the academy. He is brave. He has nerves. A manager might tell him to do A, but if he believes B is the right option, he’ll do B. I just love it. Any idea that pops into James Maddison’s head is 100 times better than any idea you’ll find at any coaching conference. – Juan Lillo, Pep Guardiola’s former assistant at Manchester City
Statistically, he is one of the most dangerous midfielders in the Premier League. If we look at the numbers from last season, he ranks eighth in his position in terms of total number of chances created (69) and joint seventh for big chances created (12), despite playing in a dysfunctional Leicester team.
However, Maddison is not the only player who can pull the strings. He is also keen on shooting, registering 81 shots in 2022/23, a total that puts him seventh among all FPL midfielders. Below is his shot map, with his efforts on target on the green. Most of them are from outside the box but he is more than capable of scoring goals from distance.
Maddison is also known as a set-piece specialist. He has scored eight goals directly from free-kicks for Leicester, so far Trent Alexander-Arnold and James Ward-Prowse generated more expected assists (xA) from dead-ball situations in 2022/23.
WHERE MADDISON IS WITH SPURS
Maddison would immediately add something that Spurs’ midfield currently lacks: creativity.
All of their current options are more box-to-box, defensive types, like Peter-Emile Hojbjerg, Rodrigo Bentancur, Oliver Skipp and Yves Bissouma, who combined to create just 59 chances last season, 10 fewer than Maddison’s individual tally. As such, Maddison will play a key role in the new-look Spurs team as their main creator.
Ange Postecoglou prefers a 4-3-3 formation, which you can read more about here, a shape that Maddison can easily fit as a no. 8. It often leans towards a 4-2-3-1 anyway, so the midfield three of Bissouma, Bentancur and Maddison – in a hybrid 8/10 role – has the potential to work well.
In his final season at Celtic, Postecoglou spoke of the importance of a no. 10 to his approach, though his quote also suggests that Maddison’s skillset can occasionally be used out wide, in unique circumstances dictated by the opposition.
“… if you look at our team now I have four to five wingers and they are all wingers but they all have different qualities. Some have speed, some are better at dribbling, others are just good at finishing things so depending on who we play it’s about team selection.
It’s the same with the midfield dynamic. Do I need two more dynamic midfield players? Do I need two 10’s? Do I need eight and 10? I tried to build teams where we play our 4-3-3 but it can look different depending on the 11 I put in there. That way we don’t have to change so many fundamentals in terms of our approach but having those players will mean that we change, it tweaks us just naturally.” – Ange Postecoglou
THE FPL PROSPECTS
Maddison’s arrival comes after a disappointing season for Tottenham, as they finished eighth in the Premier League and failed to qualify for any European competition.
However, they could be a very different outfit in 2023/24, with new boss Postecoglou in charge. His arrival should, in theory, see Spurs score more goals and his attacking brand of football will suit Maddison, who immediately brings creativity.
Complementing an attack that is already proud Harry Kane, Son Heung-min, Dejan Kulusevski and richarlison, the potential is clear, even if the England captain’s future remains in doubt. If he stays, Kane and Son could reach greater heights with Maddison pulling the strings.
Maddison is likely to be priced at around £8.0m in FPL, so expect interest to increase in Gameweek 3 when Spurs face Bournemouth, along with newly promoted Burnley and Sheffield United, back-to-back.
Spurs won’t have any European commitments to worry about afterwards, either, allowing Postecoglou more time on the training pitch. That is also important, as it may take a while to ingrain his ideas, which are very different from those of his predecessor Antonio Conte.
Spurs are getting a player at their peak who has proven to be one of the best creators in the Premier League. If he is given a prominent set-piece role and Spurs rediscover their swagger, Maddison could be one of the best mid-price midfielders to own in FPL next season.
We can, of course, look to the pre-season for clues as to how Spurs will perform. Postecoglou will take his new team back to his native Australia for pre-season training and a friendly against West Ham United on 18 July, before facing Maddison’s former club Leicester, Roma and Shakhtar Donetsk.
Any information we learn from these friends will be covered here, be it line-ups, goals, assists or broader Fantasy talking points.
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