Pundit references Grealish ‘mistake’ as Tottenham warned against repeat in star pursuit

Ciaran McCarthy
James Maddison, Jack Grealish, England, March 2023

Gabby Agbonlahor has told Tottenham not to “make the same mistake” in pursuit of James Maddison as they did for Jack Grealish, as the Leicester City man is “exactly what they need”.

Tottenham have been linked with Maddison throughout much of the season. Indeed, it seems they’ve identified him as the perfect player to take up the no.10 role, a player they don’t really have at the moment.

It seems likely they’ll attempt to secure the transfer in the summer, too. Spurs have reportedly ‘informed Maddison’s representatives’ of their interest.

The pursuit might not be an easy one, as Liverpool have also made their interest known, as per the same report.

As such, Tottenham might be forced to bid a decent sum in order to land Maddison. Former Premier League striker Agbonlahor thinks they should do that, so as to not have a repeat of their pursuit of his former teammate Grealish.

“I just feel like Spurs shouldn’t make the same mistake they did with Jack Grealish,” he told Football Insider.

“They tried to save money and get his price down, and they missed out. Maddison is exactly what they need.”

Indeed, Spurs pursued Grealish in 2018 and seemingly came close before the deal collapsed. He remained at Aston Villa, came back to the Premier League with them and performed well, leading to a £100million move to Manchester City.

The north London outfit would kick themselves if Maddison was to follow a similar trajectory. Agbonlahor has stressed how much of a good signing he’d be, though referenced the prospect of a battle with Newcastle United.

“They could change the way they play entirely and go to a 4-3-3. It’d be perfect,” he added.

“But they’ll have competition. Newcastle will be there with £55million if Tottenham offer £50million.

“They might be in the Champions League, and Tottenham look like they won’t be.

“If I’m Maddison I would choose Newcastle – because Tottenham are shaky, and Newcastle are a club on the up.”

It might well be a hard-fought battle, but given how long they’ve been linked with Maddison, it could be one Tottenham are very much up for.

The attacking-midfielder has been in stellar form this season – with 15 goal contributions in 23 league games – and he’d be a fantastic asset for Spurs.

With that being said, they should spend as much as they can sanction to attempt to land him over another side.

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