If Leicester City had any reservations about giving James Maddison a rich new deal, they would’ve flown into the sky above the King Power Stadium as the Foxes mustered very little without the injured playmaker.
Maddison, 23, has committed his long-term future to Leicester through the 2023-24 season, the Europa League club announcing a bumper new deal for the ex-Norwich City man on Monday.
The Foxes’ 2019-20 fortunes came and went with Maddison’s form and health.
Leicester sat in second place when Maddison scored his sixth PL goal of the season in a 3-0 win over Newcastle on New Year’s Day. He didn’t score again but Leicesterr still sat third when he was injured following a loss to Everton on July 1.
The Foxes went 2W-1D-3L without him and finished fifth, scoring two total goals in the matches they dropped points.
Maddison has been linked with other teams, but Leicester’s been firm about locking him up. He feels good to settle his nerves on a day the team also announced the extension of Nampalys Mendy’s deal.
“I’ve enjoyed every moment since joining Leicester City. The supporters have been incredible to me and we’ve a fantastic set of players in that dressing room who are determined to show what we’re capable of doing together in both Europe and the Premier League next season.”
Leicester also has Brendan Rodgers locked up long term and has plenty of key players locked up through at least 2022-23, including Kasper Schmeichel, Caglar Soyuncu, Ricardo Pereira, Youri Tielemans, and Harvey Barnes.
The Foxes open their Premier League season at West Bromwich Albion on Sept. 12 with a visit from Burnley before they’re once again tested by a power in the form of Man City.
If Leicester is to take the next step under Rodgers, it will need to start beating the big teams. Maddison’s creativity and consistency will be a key part of that. The former is a given. Will the latter arrive?