James Maddison should be favoured over Jack Grealish if Manchester United are looking to spend “big, big money” in the next window, says Paul Parker, with the Leicester playmaker considered to be more of a guarantee for success than a “big fish in a small pond” at Aston Villa.
The Red Devils are said to still be in the market for added creativity, despite landing Bruno Fernandes in January and waiting on a return to form and fitness from Paul Pogba.
Raids on Premier League rivals are being mooted, with Grealish and Maddison expected to figure prominently on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s wish list.
For Parker, a man currently starring for the Foxes – and with senior international caps to his name with England – would be the preferred option as a talismanic captain at Villa still has much to prove for club and country.
The former United defender told Eurosport: “Look at the United midfield and think how do you fit a Jack Grealish into it?
“If he plays for United it will not be out wide. Then, in the middle, is he going to win the ball back?
“Can you have him and Bruno Fernandes in a midfield two? Fernandes is a far better player, and wins the ball back. He wants to get on the ball and does it with the ball.
“Grealish is still, at the moment, a big fish in a small pond, it would be interesting to see how he gets on at a bigger club.
“Maddison has done really well at Leicester but is happy there.
“He is definitely more of a guarantee than Grealish as he has proven himself at a bigger club. He is a better proposition for United. He is more adaptable, he plays at a higher energy than what Grealish does. Grealish spends long spells out of the game, and only comes into the game when he is on the ball.
“If you are going to spend the big, big money, then Maddison should be the target.
“Does he want to leave Leicester at this time, with the way things were going there? It seems he wants to stay, but if somehow United can persuade him and Leicester otherwise, he should be the main target.
“If the opportunity does arise to go to United, it may well be a decision he would regret saying no to later in his career.”