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Missing out on James Maddison has left West Ham lacking a creative spark

West Ham spent over £100m on new players this summer but that has not translated into results yet.

After four Premier League games, West Ham find themselves at the bottom of the league. The Hammers are yet to pick up a point under new manager Manuel Pellegrini.

While the season is far from over, West Ham fans will be worried about this slow start.

During the summer, West Ham were linked with a host of players and missed out on James Maddison. The young midfielder instead moved to Leicester City in a deal worth around £20m.

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I believe that not pursuing this deal more intently was a major mistake.

Ideal Lanzini replacement

During the summer, West Ham and Argentina were hit with a major blow. Manuel Lanzini had suffered a serious injury in training, ruling him out of the World Cup and most of the 2018/19 Premier League season.

Lanzini’s importance in this West Ham team cannot be understated and his absence is sorely felt. He can score goals, hit a range of passes and dribble past opponents with ease.

LEICESTER, ENGLAND – MAY 05: Manuel Lanzini of West Ham United warms up ahead of the Premier League match between Leicester City and West Ham United at King Power Stadium on May 5th , 2018 in Leicester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Plumb Images/Leicester City FC via Getty Images)

Without him, West Ham lack creativity in midfield and Maddison would have been the perfect replacement.

Although he is young, the 21-year-old possesses all of the same qualities that Lanzini does. He would have filled that void in central midfield with aplomb.

Proven track record

Maddison has proven his quality in the Championship and that is usually a good barometer for success in the top flight.

At such a young age, the former Coventry City youngster was already in a starring role for Norwich City. For the Canaries, he scored 15 goals in 46 games and provided a flurry of assists.

LEICESTER, ENGLAND – AUGUST 18: James Maddison of Leicester City scores to make it 2-0 during the Premier League match between Leicester City and Wolverhampton Wanderers at King Power Stadium on August 18th , 2018 in Leicester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Plumb Images/Leicester City FC via Getty Images)

Those who have watched him for years knew that he would have no difficult adapting to the Premier League.

And so he is already proving, with a goal and an assist in his four matches for Leicester.

One for the future

Maddison was tipped for a senior England call-up during the international break but he’ll have to wait.

For now, he is progressing well with the England under-21 set-up but it can’t be long until his first-team call.

SHEFFIELD, ENGLAND – MARCH 27: James Maddison of England U21 in action during the U21 European Championship Qualifier match between England U21 and Ukraine U21 at Bramell Lane on March 27, 2018 in Sheffield, England. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

Considering his potential, £20m is a snip in today’s market. Maddison could turn into one of the best players in the Premier League, a regular for England and West Ham would have missed out on all of that.

The Irons really should have pushed harder to get this deal over the line.

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