I know what you`re thinking, “James Maddison, who is he?”
You may well ask because at literally the eleventh hour last night, Norwich City signed the 19 year old midfielder from Coventry for a reported initial £2m.
Yes, £2 million.
The lad has been immediately loaned back to Coventry for the rest of the season.
How have we managed to buy a player most of us have never heard of for such a (relatively) large fee? It seems though, that he is more than a bit of a prospect.
Maddison came through the youth ranks at Coventry, having joined the Sky Blues` academy at the age of just seven, signing professional terms in November 2014. He made his first team debut aged 17yrs in August 2014 for in the Capital One Cup against Cardiff City and went on to make 18 appearances in the 2014/15 season, also famously scoring in the 2-1 win over Crawley Town on the final day of that season to help preserve his club`s League One status.
He has made 12 appearances this season, starting the season as a first team regular but suffered an ankle injury in August that kept him out for three months and he has scored two goals.
Various reports that I`ve read overnight suggest he was being watched closely by both Tottenham and Liverpool, with Norwich seemingly beating them both to the punch. Press reports yesterday said that Coventry rated their number ten at £7m with The Times reporting that Liverpool intended to make a move for him in the summer.
He is an attacking minded playmaker and you`d have to think that assuming he develops as hoped, that there is some succession planning for the replacement of Wes Hoolahan here.
EDP reporter Paddy Davitt is a Coventry City fan and he has tweeted about how special a player Maddison is and if he develops well, he could be really special, describing him as the best young prospect out of Coventry since Callum Wilson.
It seems that we have picked up a real gem here.
A good barometer of how good a player is, is how the fans of the club he is leaving react to the news. For example, when we signed Bradley Johnson I remember reading a tweet from a Leeds fan who said he was garbage and that he`d gladly drive him to Carrow Road. It took Johnno four seasons to really mature and develop into the player we saw last season.
My twitter feed after midnight was jammed with re-tweets of upset and generally pi$%ed off Coventry fans. Upset at the fact that this baller is going to leave their club. That, I think, can only be a good sign.
The only downside I can see at the moment is that he wears an alice band – hopefully Steven Naismith can have a word with him about that.