Who is the better buy: Man Utd's Jesse Lingard or Leicester's James Maddison?

As speculation continues to swirl around the future of the two midfielders, Planet Sport compares their respective merits and decides who we would rather splash the cash on.

With less than a week to go until the start of the Premier League season, clubs will be eager to wrap up their transfer business sooner rather than later.

And, with a number of sides still on the lookout for a creative spark, both Jesse Lingard and James Maddison have been heavily linked with moves.

After appearing unloved and unwanted at Manchester UnitedLingard was rejuvenated thanks to a loan spell at West Ham.

Now back at Old Trafford, Lingard remains on the fringes at United following the arrival of Jadon Sancho.

Similarly, despite starting the Community Shield win over Manchester City, Leicester City's James Maddison was reduced to a bit part in Brendan Rodgers' side towards the end of last season - he only completed 90 minutes once during the final three months of the campaign.

Arsenal have been heavily linked with a move for Maddison which, it has been reported, is set to pave the way for Lingard's arrival at the King Power . However, would Mikel Arteta be better off gunning for Lingard himself?

Planet Sport takes a look at the two attacking midfielders to decide who offers the better deal.

Value for money

Jesse Lingard - 7

Following his emphatic spell at West Ham it's hard to argue with Manchester United's £25million valuation.

Should Maddison make the move to the Emirates, Leicester would have the funds available to acquire Lingard's services. The only worry is whether he is able to replicate his London form for the Foxes.

A further loan spell could be considered for both parties should Lingard insist on fighting his way back into Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side, but it's likely that Leicester will want to find a permanent replacement for Maddison.

His value purely boils down to which Lingard Leicester would get. If he is able to replicate his West Ham form, then £25million would be a steal in today's market.

James Maddison - 6

If Arsenal are to sign Maddison, they will first have to meet Leicester's demands of £60million.

A hefty price, but considering Maddison's age, the 24-year-old would undoubtedly offer Arsenal a long-term solution to a position they have struggled to fill.

Furthermore, Joe Willock's £25million move to Newcastle United could trigger a domino effect, part-funding Arsenal's spending on Maddison.

Passing and creativity

Jesse Lingard - 5

As an attacking midfielder, the ability to unlock a defence is an increasingly important aspect of the modern game.

However, it's not a major component of Lingard's make-up - he has only registered 14 assists over his 149 Premier League appearances.

In terms of passing involvement, Lingard also trails Maddison, only completing an average of 27.98 passes per match.

While Lingard is still able to contribute offensively, he isn't as effective an attacking focal point as his rival.

James Maddison - 7

Maddison has 15 assists in 50 less appearances.

Furthermore, Maddison's 27 big chances created tops Lingard's tally of 21, making him more likely to unlock a stubborn defence.

Goal threat

Jesse Lingard - 6

While they may not be the primary goalscorers in their side, both Maddison and Lingard know how to find the back of the net, and have done so on numerous occasions.

In 149 Premier League appearances, Lingard netted 27 times, and enjoyed his most productive season at West Ham, scoring nine in just 16 appearances.

With an average of 0.56 goals per match last season, if Lingard can carry over his scoring form into his new side, then he'll be nailed on to beat Maddison in the scoring charts.

James Maddison - 6

Similarly, Maddison has shown a keen eye for goal during his time at Leicester, and has scored 21 goals in his 98 league appearances.

While both players clearly offer a good goal threat in their positions, Maddison differs from Lingard in his set-piece ability - the Leicester midfielder has fired in five free-kicks during his Premier League career.

Able to find the net from a variety of angles and distances, Maddison could provide Arteta with the necessary firepower to send the Gunners into the top four.


Jesse Lingard - 4

At 28, Lingard is nearing his peak years, and won't want to waste his prime not playing regularly.

While potential usually refers to a player's ability to improve, Lingard's new suitors will simply be hoping that he can replicate his form from last season.

The uncertainty over Lingard's consistency clearly poses a risk to any potential transfer, but it's a risk that a handful of clubs will be mulling over in the final weeks of the transfer window.

James Maddison - 8

In contrast, Maddison has often shone in the Premier League, even if he has perhaps struggled for consistency in recent months.

At 24, Maddison has time to grow and develop as a player, and could potentially be a pivotal part of a club's long-term plans.

Defending and workrate

Jesse Lingard - 7

Although fans want to see their attacking players rack up goals and assists, the modern game also demands that a player contributes defensively.

Lingard's defensive numbers show that the Manchester United man clearly has another string to his bow - he's made a total of 142 tackles, with a success rate of 67%.

A tireless runner who's eager to press - Lingard has also shown an ability to read the game, making 56 interceptions throughout his career.

James Maddison - 5

Despite often facing criticism for neglecting his defensive duties, Maddison comfortably compares with Lingard's tackling, having made 139 at a success rate of 56%.

His downfall, though, comes in the shape of interceptions, with his 30 trailing some way behind Lingard's.


Jesse Lingard - 7

Lingard's age makes him an obvious choice in terms of experience, but the Manchester United midfielder has also played a pivotal part in winning silverware over the years.

His first real taste of success came in the 2014/15 season, when Louis van Gaal's United met Crystal Palace in the FA Cup final.

After falling behind to Jason Puncheon's opener, United equalised through Juan Mata to take the game to extra time.

The Red Devils' chances of silverware took a blow when Chris Smalling was dismissed in the 105th minute, but just five minutes later, Lingard popped up with a superb volley to snatch the trophy.

Clearly a man for the big occasion, Lingard also played a part in United's League Cup and Europa League success under Jose Mourinho in 2016/17.

James Maddison - 6

As the younger player, it's hardly a surprise that Maddison can't quite match Lingard's experience in the game, but recent success in the FA Cup and Community Shield has stood him in good stead.

Now with the experience of domestic finals under his belt, Maddison could potentially be ready to take the step up and test himself in Europe - the only issue being Arsenal have to actually get there first.


Jesse Lingard - 36

James Maddison - 38

It's a tight affair but Leicester City's James Maddison comes out on top.

While Lingard enjoyed the more productive campaign last season, uncertainty over whether he is able to replicate his form makes signing him a risk to any interested clubs.

Maddison, in contrast, is not about last season. He is about this season and the next season and the season after that. Put simply, Lingard could be as good as he was at West Ham, Maddison could be as good as he wants to be.

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