Date: 21st June 2019 at 2:00pm
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Retired cricketer Steve Harmison shared he would have loved it if Newcastle United had signed James Maddison instead of Leicester City from Norwich City.

Harmison, who supports the Magpies (Source: The Chronicle), revealed that he thought Maddison was a special talent and had to tip his hat to Leicester for taking a gamble on him by acquiring his signature last summer.

“Yeah he will, I’m sure he will, he’s the heartbeat of that U21s team,” said Harmison on talkSPORT (12:37, Friday, June 21st).

“I would have loved Newcastle to get him when he left Norwich, £22million I don’t think we were going to pay that, so I think fair play to Leicester as they took a gamble and they’re talking £60million for him now.

“I think he is a special talent.”

This prompted cricket commentator David ‘Bumble’ Lloyd to say the Magpies needed to “sell some more shirts at £65” to help get him, and this got a reaction from Harmison as he took a dig at current Magpies owner Mike Ashley.

“£65..£65…5% up on season tickets as well so no wonder the fans aren’t happy with Mike Ashley,” added Harmison.

OPINION

Harmison took a dig at Ashley by pointing out why it was so obvious Magpies fans weren’t happy as he highlighted season ticket prices as well as the price of the club’s new shirt and who can blame him? After all, it’s a joke that the Magpies’ replica home shirt is £65, the most expensive jersey in English football (Source: The Times) and that there is also a player authentic version priced at a staggering £95. While Newcastle United are arguably one of the biggest clubs in England, it doesn’t give them the right to charge their fans an arm and leg for just supporting them, especially when ticket prices have also gone up as well. Aside from Harmison’s pop at Ashley being understandable, his remarks on Maddison are easy to agree with. The 22-year-old joined Leicester ahead of the 2018/19 campaign and proceeded to excel in England’s top-flight. The playmaker scored seven goals, while racking up seven assists and was impressively involved in 27% of Leicester’s league goals (Source: Transfermarkt). In fact Maddison ended 6th for big chances created in the Premier League, he made 13 big chances, and if he was at St James Park last season; they probably would have been stronger going forward.