Tottenham’s failure to qualify for Europe could potentially be a major stumbling block if they attempt to lure James Maddison from Leicester City this summer. In the mix for a Champions League finish for the vast majority of the 2022/23 campaign, Spurs’ dismal form towards the end of the season saw other teams profit and the Lilywhites drop out of the European places altogether.
Now with Maddison a certainty to depart the King Power Stadium due to his contract status and the Foxes’ relegation to the Championship, the England international will undoubtedly be looking to feature in Europe on a regular basis. That could well give Newcastle United and Arsenal, who have both been linked with the attacking midfielder, a huge advantage over Tottenham, especially as both can offer the 26-year-old Champions League football.
If Tottenham are not successful in a move for Maddison, Ange Postecoglou and the club’s new managing director of football will have to look elsewhere. In terms of an alternative for the ex-Norwich City ace, Bristol City’s Alex Scott has an incredibly bright future in the game and he would potentially cost half the price of Maddison.
Excelling in the Championship for the Robins, the 19-year-old attacking midfielder, who is a Tottenham fan, looks destined for a switch to the top flight sooner rather than later, with clubs such as Brighton & Hove Albion, Brentford, Liverpool, Newcastle, Wolves and West Ham linked with the exciting player this summer. Bristol City are going to lose their prized asset but boss Nigel Pearson has indicated that interested parties will have to fork out more than £25million to sign the Guernsey-born ace.
“So far the speculation has been cooked up by journalists and agents,” said Pearson (via BBC Sport) after Scott had scored in City’s 2-0 win over Blackpool in March. “We have not received one firm offer. If we do, it will need be more than £25million in today’s market.
“I believe Alex will play for England one day. I thought that when I first saw him in a training session and nothing since has changed my mind.”
Playing his part for England Under-19s last summer as the Three Lions won the 2022 UEFA European Under-19 Championship, Scott, who spent time with both Southampton and Bournemouth as a youngster, has continued to go from strength to strength. Contributing with two goals and five assists last season, the versatile midfielder came in for praise from Pep Guardiola after Bristol City’s FA Cup clash against Man City and he then went on to crown his season by winning the Championship Young Player of the Year award.
Taking part in the recent FIFA Under-20s World Cup campaign in Argentina along with current Tottenham players Alfie Devine and Dane Scarlett, Scott started in three of England’s four games as they exited the competition at the hands of finalists Italy. If Tottenham do attempt to move for Scott this summer, the club may well have a secret weapon in Devine who could potentially prove key to his friend’s final destination amid interest from a host of Premier League clubs.
“Alfie Devine, who I now play with for England [Under-20s], is probably one of my closest mates,” Scott said in a recent interview with The Guardian. “Being a Spurs fan I remember when he scored against Marine at 16. I was watching that with my dad at home and thinking: ‘He’s going to be the next one to come through at Spurs.’ Now I’m best mates with him at England level. That in itself is surreal for me.”
Mainly operating as an attacking midfielder for Bristol City but also having plenty of experience of playing as a central midfielder and sometimes in the holding role, Scott has all the qualities to become a Premier League regular. Excellent in possession and a progressive ball carrier with an eye for a pass, he is also an extremely confident dribbler who can glide past his opponents with ease, thus seeing him earn the nickname the “Guernsey Grealish” in the process.