JAMES MADDISON has been nothing short of a revelation since joining Tottenham.Spurs were left wondering how the remainder of their misfiring attack will take form under new coach Ange Postecoglou after losing the potency and ingenuity of Harry Kane.
However, those pre-season concerns have been alleviated by Maddison’s outstanding start since coming from Leicester for £45 million.
With four games played in the 23/24 season, Spurs are fourth in the Premier League, having won three and drawn one.
While Postecoglou’s tactical setup deserves a lot of credit, Maddison’s efforts in midfield have been the trigger for Spurs’ excellent performances.
Because of his outstanding start, the 26-year-old has been named the greatest summer signing by Premier League agents.
While there have been more high-profile transfers this summer, Maddison is clearly a key figure if Spurs are to challenge for the Champions League this season.
But how precisely is he accomplishing this?
Ingenious placement in the last third.
Over the previous two or three seasons, we’ve witnessed Kane’s game evolve as he began to dip deeper to receive the ball before passing it.
Kane’s ability to do so while simultaneously remaining the most prolific goal-scoring threat for club and country was a testament to his talent.
Spurs needed a man capable of connecting the midfield and attack and having the threat to break down opponent defensive blocks to replace Kane.
Maddison has been outstanding as this player so far this season. The Spurs have set up in a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Maddison as the 10 in the line of three behind the striker.
The English international midfielder in these positions has the ability to move from side to side as well as come deep or push forward to support the lone striker
Maddison shows intelligent movement in the final third
Maddison has been the key man for Spurs this season
Maddison was outstanding against Burnley
Here, in the match against Burnley, we see him drifting away from the closest defender to give his team-mate in possession a passing angle to move the ball inside.
When he receives he has so much space that he can take a positive touch forward before driving towards goal.
Maddison displays a real ability to find pockets of space in the opposition half. He is strong when it comes to the timing of his movement to pull away from his opponent in order to find space.
He is constantly moving and shifting positions in the attacking phase to create passing options for his teammates between the opposition midfield and defensive lines.
These were the positions that we typically saw Kane look to occupy for Spurs last season to help them to progress the ball. But it meant Spurs never actually had a central striker playing high and occupying central defenders.
Now, with Maddison acting as the link between midfield and attack, Spurs have a central striker positioned high and a creative link player in the midfield.