I recently spoke to Aidan McCartney of The Coventry Telegraph about Norwich’s latest signing James Maddison.
Norwich signed Maddison right on the 11 pm deadline from Coventry for an undisclosed fee thought to be around £3.5m. Due to Maddison being a relatively unknown player to most Norwich fans, I had a chat with Aidan to get a bit more knowledge on the player.
How upset are the Coventry fans following the announcement last night? Was it expected or a surprise?
Rumours had been rife about the future of Maddison during the January transfer window but after reaching 10pm on deadline day without a deal being in place Coventry fans were hopeful they would be keeping the 19-year-old at least until the summer.
Spurs and Liverpool had been linked but reports suggested they would both hold out for the rest of the season.
The Norwich rumours and news breaking after the deadline passed certainly came as a shock to fans. However it’s clear he had been actively looking for a transfer and a host of scouts were watching him at every match so really it was only a matter of time before he departed. Fans are disappointed to see another homegrown talent sold but are pleased that he will remain on loan with the club as they search for promotion to the Championship.
At the reported fee of £3.5m, have Norwich got a bargain?
As the fee is undisclosed we’ll probably never know exactly how much Norwich have paid initially. However we’ve been told that it’s a loaded deal with a host of clauses depended on his success as a player and Norwich as a club. With all those clauses the deal could rise upwards of £6million. I expect that in a few years the Canaries will be making a healthy profit from the Coventry-born midfielder who’s incredible talent makes him a future England international.
Do you think he has the potential to be a Premier League regular for Norwich?
Maybe not straight away but Maddison has the all the potential to be a Premier League star for Norwich. The gifted youngster has only made 12 first-team starts for Coventry since making his professional debut in August 2014. So this signing is one for the future but there no doubt in my mind that Maddison has all the key attributes to ultimately be a success in the Premier League as his development and progress continues.
What are his main strengths as a player?
Maddison is one of the most technically adept young players in England. The twinkle-toed attacking midfielder, who is comfortable playing with both feet, has already shown that he can unlock defences at will playing in League One for the Sky Blues. He works well in tight spaces with the ball at his feet, able to use his low centre of gravity and impressive close control to take defenders on or win a foul for his side. His attacking intelligence and awareness means he can pick a pass, even when running with the ball at pace, and lay on the sort of chances that forwards love. Set-pieces are another of his plus points with a wicked free-kick in his locker (as he demonstrated for Coventry against Chesterfield last month). He is willing to learn, eager to develop and his skill is only matched by his self-confidence.
What areas of his game need developing?
Like any young player Maddison still has parts of his game to work on, some which will come with more game time and experience. He will need to become more athletic and physical to eventually handle the Premier League while more goals will have to follow in his game. Comparisons to Dele Alli can, at this stage, be seen as unfair. The Spurs star had played nearly 100 matches for MK Dons before moving to White Hart Lane last year. Although still far from the finished product, Maddison’s qualities and excellent attitude indicate a big future in the game and Norwich should be delighted to have secured the talented youngster on a long-term deal.
I would like to thank Aidan for taking the time to speak to me. Hopefully Maddison will be a good signing for Norwich and we will start reaping the rewards of this signing from the start of next season.