James Maddison is expected to miss out on England’s World Cup squad, news which will stun a number of talkSPORT pundits.
The Leicester midfielder has enjoyed a brilliant run of form in the build up to Qatar 2022, and has the backing from a number of former players.
A constant goal threat and danger from set pieces, Maddison’s numbers speak for themselves, with only Erling Haaland, Kevin De Bruyne and Harry Kane managing more Premier League goals and assists this season.
His form goes even further back too, with 30 goal involvements since the start of last season the most of any English midfielder – way ahead of names such as Jack Grealish on seven.
Gareth Southgate is due to name his final World Cup squad at 2pm on Thursday.
But, despite that, The Telegraph report Maddison is ‘braced for bad news’ and he may well feel very hard done by.
Speaking to talkSPORT after a 2-0 win over Everton that saw two Maddison assists, Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers said: “Any player wants to give themselves an opportunity and I think with James the country sees his maturity and talent.
“For an England supporter to have someone there to at least come off the bench with that ability you then think something can happen in the game, and that’s what the game’s about.
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“Make no mistake about it, he can play in that environment, he’s built for the big stage.”
Former Aston Villa and Tottenham boss Tim Sherwood agreed, saying: “Anyone can play well in a good side, but when your team’s not doing well like Leicester were at the start of the season, he was the one standing up.
“He was trying to pull them through that rough period, he did all that he could and showed a lot of character. For me he’s on that plane 100 per cent.”
Meanwhile talkSPORT Breakfast host Ally McCoist has also decided.
“There seems to be a maturity about him over the past 18 months,” the Scot said. “I’m seeing an increased level of game knowledge.
“Everything about him is improving, he’s playing at the peak of his form and would be an automatic shoo-in for me to be on the plane.”
And speaking on White and Jordan, Danny Murphy suggested an exclusion couldn’t possibly be for footballing reasons.
“I don’t see a footballing reason why you wouldn’t have him,” for former England international explained.
“Everything I’m hearing about him is he’s a top lad, yes he’s had some misdemeanours in the past, as have other members of the squad, let’s make no bones about that.
“He has to go, if he doesn’t go then to me it feels like it isn’t a football decision, there’s something about him Gareth doesn’t like, which in football and life that happens, sometimes you don’t connect with someone.
“I’d take James Maddison 100 per cent. Absolutely 100 per cent. He’s the most creative English player in the Premier League at the moment.”
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