Leicester City was always going to go through an adjustment period after the club let go of one of their most, if not the most talented player in their squad Riyad Mahrez.
Claude Puel’s side managed to hold onto the talented winger in January as Manchester City tried to snatch him away from the King Power Stadium but the Premier League champions eventually got their man in the summer, filling the Foxes’ pockets with £60m but leaving a creative hole to fill.
The gifted Algerian’s position out wide was soon occupied by a carbon copy of Mahrez – Rachid Ghezzal, a slight, Algerian international from the French league, blessed with quick feet and seeping with talent.
While Ghezzal hasn’t taken the competition by storm, a young Englishman by the name of James Maddison has taken most of the creative responsibility upon his shoulders and has been a shining light throughout the first four matches of Leicester’s campaign.
The midfielder was the most expensive Championship player in the league’s history when he swapped the yellow and green of Norwich City for the blue of Leicester in a deal worth £25m and it is starting to show why the Foxes forked out the significant fee for his services.
Maddison started his career with his hometown club Coventry City before joining the Canaries in 2016. His years at Carrow Road was interrupted with loan spells and outgoing managers, while he struggled to find his feet in the Championship with minutes off the substitutes’ bench during the dying embers of the season. The teenager scored a goal on his debut against Preston North End, which proved to be a sign of things to come.
With the arrival of new coach Daniel Farke, Maddison’s fortunes changed. He was soon given opportunities in the central of midfielder and became an important first-team player. Maddison turned into the Canaries’ talisman last season, scoring 15 goals and providing eight assists in what proved an otherwise disappointing season for Norwich City.
His ability to find key passes and assists, with many defenders finding themselves unable to cope with the way he drove into the defence and he has taken that good form into the Premier League.
The 21-year-old has started all four league games for his new club since arriving at the King Power Stadium and has impressed against Manchester United and scoring against Wolverhampton Wanderers.
James Maddison’s display against Liverpool was so assured it looked like the Leicester midfielder had been playing in the Premier League for years. Despite the 2-1 loss at the King Power on Saturday, the 21-year-old midfielder still produced a standout performance.
If he continues to progress under Leicester boss Claude Puel, who garnered a reputation for developing young talent, the young boy from Coventry may be a new shining light out of Leicester.