Jamie Carragher has given four reasons why Jurgen Klopp, Pep Guardiola and other big-club managers in the Premier League snubbed a move for Tottenham star James Maddison.
Maddison joined Spurs from Leicester for £40m in the summer, and has hit the ground running under Ange Postecoglou, scoring two goals and providing four assists so far this season.
There was also interest from Newcastle, but other members of the Big Six failed to challenge Spurs for his signature.
Carragher reckons they were ‘swayed more by what he does not to than his qualities’ as he assessed the playmaker’s role at Tottenham in his Telegraph column.
He wrote: ‘My suspicion is that Guardiola, Klopp, Mikel Arteta and Mauricio Pochettino took a look at Maddison and were swayed more by what he does not do more than his qualities.
‘In their best sides, Guardiola and Klopp expect multi-faceted attacking players or midfielders to assume the responsibility of those who once placed themselves just behind the main striker.
‘Maddison is not the quickest, nor does he stand-out as someone who will trigger a high-pressing game. He does not have the natural athleticism of a No 8, and he is less effective playing as a wide attacker cutting inside.
‘He shines knitting midfield and attack, deceptively quick in possession and technically superb at quickly seeing and delivering a defence-splitting pass.’
Carragher believes Postecoglou deserves great credit for the way in which Maddison has settled so quickly at Spurs.
‘In a period of transition at a club in dire need of a spark after the sale of Kane, Spurs emerged as the perfect club at the right time under the ideal manager. Credit must be given to Ange Postecoglou for identifying how to maximise Maddison’s assets, encouraging him to sprinkle the creative dust while the coach gets a tune out of the players he has inherited.
‘For now, seeing a team playing front-footed and imaginative football is enough for the Spurs fans, the team’s excellent start beyond their expectation at the start of a new era. Maddison has become a symbol of the fans’ growing sense that they “have their Spurs back”.’