Why Leicester City should plot a January swoop for Hakan Calhanoglu
Leicester City’s James Maddison has established himself as one of the most exciting attackers in the Premier League. The playmaker’s rise to prominence has already seen him attract a lot of interest, especially from Manchester United, who prepared to submit a £60million bid next summer.
Maddison, 22, has contributed two goals and as many assists in eight Premier League fixtures for Leicester this season, earning back to back call-ups to Gareth Southgate’s England squad.
The Daily Mirror claims Manchester United are confident the Englishman will complete a transfer to Old Trafford next year, ignoring interest from a number of other top clubs in the process.
The Red Devils could certainly use a player with Maddison’s qualities at the moment, given a lack of creative options across the middle of the park for manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Solskjaer already has a strong English core at Old Trafford, with the likes of Harry Maguire, Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard and Aaron Wan-Bissaka enjoying prominent roles in his current squad.
Joining up with a host of similar faces would make the 22-year-old’s transition to United even smoother, with Solskjaer determined to keep adding young, hungry and dynamic British talents to his squad.
As far as Leicester are concerned, Brendan Rodgers will find it difficult to keep hold of Maddison should United come up with an offer, just like Maguire. Thus, it is important for Rodgers to start plotting the former England Under-21 international’s replacement from now on.
Back in May, Calciomercato had claimed Leicester were interested in signing AC Milan playmaker Hakan Calhanoglu. While a move didn’t go through during the summer window, the Foxes would be wise to rekindle their interest in January.
Hakan Calhanoglu, 25, joined AC Milan from Bayer Leverkusen in the summer of 2017 but hasn’t lived up to the lofty expectations of the San Siro faithful.
The German-born Turkish star has blown hot and cold this season, bagging two goals and an assist in eight Serie A games. Regardless of the midfielder failing to produce consistent performances in Milan colours, he could be the ideal replacement for a certain Maddison.
While the Turkish international is known for his dynamism and creativity in the attack, it’s his mastery from set-pieces that make Calhanoglu such an exciting playmaker. In fact, he is one of the most feared free-kick takers in Europe, while his deliveries from dead balls could help Leicester a lot.
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The former Bayer Leverkusen ace tends to be an excellent finisher in the box and has the intelligence to pick out teammates in better positions.
Being an attacker who depends more on incisive passing and movement rather than pace, power and physicality, Calhanoglu could form a devastating partnership with a willing runner like Jamie Vardy.
Calhanoglu has the quality and experience to perform at the highest level and certainly isn’t afraid to put himself about. Hence, the Foxes must not hesitate to recruit the Turkish midfielder in January as they could get a potential Maddison replacement in him.