Thierry Henry and Gary Neville have instructed Arsenal transfer target James Maddison to continue being cocky if he wants to reach his full potential.
The Leicester man has been linked with a move to the Emirates Stadium throughout the summer and football.london understands that Mikel Arteta is a huge admirer of the former Norwich City playmaker – albeit finances are making a move somewhat unlikely this summer.
That has not halted a constant deluge of transfer rumours regarding the current Leicester midfielder however, with Arsenal particularly keen to sign a more creative presence in the centre of the park.
Maddison certainly looks a viable solution to that conundrum being fresh off the back of a season in which he scored 11 goals and notched 10 assists in all competitions.
Despite that, the 24-year-old has at points been criticised for his attitude, having somewhat been portrayed as somewhat arrogant or cocky but both Neville and Henry have suggested that is part of his appeal.
Talking in an Instagram session for Puma live, the Arsenal icon said: “Keep on doing what you’re doing because I love the way you’re playing. I like to watch players like you. (Players) that think.
“Thinking is important in the game and there’s one thing we don’t use often, which is our brain. Don’t be scared of having a big ego.”
It was a sentiment that ex-Manchester United defender Neville agreed on, having compared Maddison to Eric Cantona.
Speaking to Sky Sports, he said: “We’re quick to mention players like Maddison being cocky.
“We used to say it about players like Joe Cole and Matt Le Tissier. Eric Cantona obviously was seen as an arrogant and cocky player. Jack Grealish has had it as well and there’s a stigma attached to some players.
“But actually that’s why they are the players they are. They’ve got flair, ability, they want to look good and look the part.”
“They’re brilliant to watch and he [Maddison] is a fantastic player and I’m sure Leicester will be working very hard to make sure they hang on to him.”
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