Since James Maddison, an England midfielder, was “too identical” to Bruno Fernandes, Old Trafford administrators decided against selecting Maddison this summer.
According to Manchester Evening News reporter Samuel Luckhurst, Maddison was taken into consideration by United because of his cheap availability following Leicester’s Premier League relegation, but he was eventually passed over because of his creative number 10 profile.
When Fernandes plays at his best, he uses the exact same region of the pitch and playing style as Maddison. Both are prolific players who flourish when the ball is received in the gap between the defense and midfield of the opposition, when there are willing runners ahead of them.
According to Luckhurst, this overlap in skill sets is what prompted United to search elsewhere this summer. Erik ten Hag may suffer consequences from this, but Tottenham Hotspur has reaped major benefits from it.
Madison moved to London for an apparent steal of £40 million, and since then, he has been electric at the white of the Lilywhites. The number ten makes a compelling argument to be the player of the season thus far as well as the summer signing thanks to his three goals, five assists, and creative heartbeat of his newly adopted home.
Following Harry Kane’s departure from Tottenham in the summer, Maddison assumed the heavy responsibility of wearing the number ten shirt. It would be an understatement to suggest that he has flourished under duress.
With Maddison leading the Australian revolution, Tottenham is presently leading the Premier League standings and playing an exciting brand of aggressive game under new manager Ange Postecoglou.
In contrast, Mason Mount is a player who has not flourished when faced with the demands of a heavy shirt.
At the same time as Maddison’s move, the Cobham alumnus switched from Stamford Bridge to Old Trafford, earning the coveted number seven shirt at United in the process. That’s where Maddison and I part ways.
Mount’s life in Manchester has been a lonely beginning. Due to a mix of injuries, low self-esteem, and an ineffective tactical setup by his new management, Mount has not been able to make an impact on games. In eight games, one assist and zero goals speak for themselves.
The fact that Mount has continued to play with Fernandes at number ten is the most perplexing aspect of the trade, which cost United possibly £60 million for a player who only has one year left on his contract.
Because of Maddison’s similarity to the United captain, Old Trafford authorities were rumored to have dismissed the idea of making a bid for him; yet, the plan they came up with is flawed in many of the same ways. This approach is ill-thought out, as evidenced by United’s midfield on opening day against Wolves and in numerous subsequent variations.
Mount is a player that is virtually more of a forward and performs best as the most advanced midfielder. This is also true for Maddison and Fernandes.
However, the Spurs player was offered at a salary that was over two thirds that of Mount. While playing for a far poorer side, Maddison has routinely provided goals and assists at a pace comparable to his England teammate.
Though Mount continues to put up the same performances that made many doubt his greatest qualities while at Chelsea (or England), his rate of output seems to have increased now that he has joined a “big six” team.
Should one choice determine the difference between Tottenham and United this season, it would be the midfield addition made in the summer.