Arsenal have reportedly pinpointed James Maddison as a target, with Roy Keane suggesting that leaving Leicester for the Gunners would be a backwards step
Arsenal hero Perry Groves has labelled Roy Keane “a very silly man” in response to his claim that James Maddison should snub a Gunners approach.
Mikel Arteta is a big fan of the England international and has already seen one bid rejected by Leicester City.
However, Keane urged Maddison to “sit tight” in the face of interest from the Emirates, claiming it would be a ‘backwards step’ to move to north London.
“Arsenal are a huge club but at this moment in time I don’t think it’s a step up to Leicester, considering where they are,” Keane told ITV Sport.
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“Probably backwards [step] At this moment in time, Arsenal is a huge club, Leicester where they are challenging for the Champions League, they won a trophy last year. Arsenal are short yet.”
He added: “It’s a difficult one, Vardy had an opportunity to go to Arsenal he turned it down. He got big money, turned it down, he got big money at Leicester let’s not kid ourselves.
“But Leicester, the group of players they have. They’ve got a new training ground. If he’s leaving Leicester, I don’t think Arsenal is the right option, if I was him I’d sit tight.”
In response, Groves claimed that the added pressure and responsibility could help propel Maddison to prominence having missed out on England’s squad for Euro 2020.
“Roy Keane is being very silly. A very silly man,” Groves told talkSPORT (via Metro Sport). “They are further ahead but James Maddison, if you go to the bigger clubs, you’re judged on the level.
“If he bought into a project where he would be the 10, going there and being part of a resurgence of a massive club like Arsenal.
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“Arsenal are still a massive club. Don’t worry about the support around the world. Don’t worry about the crowds. The history. Tradition.
“Roy Keane’s point, quite rightly, is that Leicester are a better team at the moment. But for your profile, if James Maddison goes to Arsenal, when you’re judged on a different level, he’s got more chance of getting in the England squad, in the England team than he has at Leicester.
“You’re under miles more pressure. If he buys into the project and gets Arsenal back to the force they want to be, Arsenal is a far bigger club than Leicester.”
Arteta refused to comment on any specific transfer speculation, but hinted that they would be open to making more moves before the window closes.
“I don’t know what will happen. Again I repeat myself. We train with the players we have available,” he explained on Sunday.
“We try to do the right things to improve the team in the areas that are needed. At the moment we came so far and there’s still a window that is open.”
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