Roy Keane has taken a dig at Arsenal over their supposed pursuit of Leicester City playmaker James Maddison this summer.
Speaking to the media on Saturday, Roy Keane has urged James Maddison to avoid a move to Arsenal, calling it a step in the backward director. The Man United legend has simultaneously praised Leicester City, citing their development under Brendan Rodgers, reports Football.London.
Keane’s dig at Arsenal came just before Leicester City’s Community Shield final against Manchester City. There have been a lot of speculations over one of Foxes’ star man James Maddison moving to Arsenal, with the player himself being reportedly interested in a move to Emirates.
A native of Coventry, Maddison has had immense success since joining Leicester in 2018. He has emerged as one of the league’s top chance creators, amassing a record of 27 goals and 20 assists in 119 competitive matches for the club.
The Englishman’s experience and pedigree in English football have made him one of the top targets for Arsenal, who are in the market for a new No. 10. However, Roy Keane, who is notorious for his condescending opinions and football punditry, believes that a switch to Emirates could be a downgrade for Maddison.
Speaking to the media just before the Community Shield game, the former Man United superstar stated: “Arsenal are a huge club, but at this moment in time I don’t think it’s a step up for him to leave Leicester, where they are, to go to Arsenal.”
A seven-time English champion with Sir Alex Ferguson’s Red Devils, Keane further added that a move to Emirates is not even a sideways step for Maddison. When asked if he thinks it’s a sideways step, Keane replied: “Probably backwards, at this moment in time.”
“Arsenal are a huge club, but where Leicester are at the moment, trying to challenge for Champions League. They’re winning, they won a trophy last year, Arsenal are short.”
Keane’s comments, albeit harsh, certainly has a layer of reality attached to them. Over the past couple of years, the club has constantly underperformed, even failing to qualify for Europe last season. Leicester City, in contrast, have been in contention for the Champions League places for the last two campaigns and further proved the Irishman’s argument by sealing the Community Shield this weekend.
However, Arsenal legend Ian Wright believes there is still reason to be optimistic. He further claimed that he could see Arsenal getting back to the top with the help of a player like Grealish, although Leicester City have done really to keep hold of the Englishman so far.