James Maddison ‘didn’t want to discuss transfer’ after Leicester relegation

James Maddison was so distraught about his part in Leicester’s unthinkable relegation from the Premier League last season that he told his agent not to contact him about a transfer until the dust had settled. The England international playmaker battled feelings of anger, regret and guilt as he boarded a private jet to Ibiza with close friends including Foxes team-mate Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall for a short break.

Maddison became disassociated with the game he loves so dearly but an enchanting telephone conversation with newly-appointed Tottenham boss Ange Postecoglou proved enough to encourage the 26-year-old that the show must go on.

Speaking at the TNT Sports start of season event in London, Maddison said: “I was devastated we went down. It was a real hit to the whole squad.

“You get to the point where you realise relegation means people will lose their jobs. There are fewer people working at the training ground and when you think about the fact it’s obviously down to us players on the pitch, it can really hit home.

“That’s the type of person I am, a quite emotional person. It did hit me hard but I can’t sulk in my bedroom with my phone off for months.”

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Newcastle had shown tentative interest in Maddison but Spurs beat their rivals to the punch, striking a £40m deal while Harry Winks also headed the other way to the King Power Stadium in a separate £10m transfer.

Maddison added: “I’ve said on record a couple times, when I spoke to the manager that really flicked a switch in my head. I wanted to be here, definitely.

“You’ve got to dust yourself down, look forward and when opportunities like this come calling it’s not one you can say no to.”

The attacking midfielder is totally sold on Postecoglou’s footballing philosophy with the Aussie tactician determined to ensure Tottenham now take the game to opponents.

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Maddison’s pressing, creative spark and personality will be central to Spurs’ change of style which if successful, could prove to be a far-cry from the dour football that was served up by the underwhelming Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte, respectively.

“I think that’s why Ange is at Tottenham – because of how he likes to play,” Maddison continued.

“The club has obviously had some big-name managers and the type of football I imagine Spurs fans will want to see has been lacking. But the quality is there to be an attacking team.

“The manager explained to me how he wants to play and without any hesitation, I believed it. His message was very clear.

“A lot of managers want to play an attacking brand of free-flowing football but sometimes you can tell it’s not how they typically set up.

“But with Ange, it was very clear that was how he wanted to play. It made my decision to join Tottenham a lot easier.”

Maddison is expected to start from the off on Sunday when Spurs travel to Brentford in their Premier League opener.

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