Man Utd were denied £40m summer signing due to Gascoigne as playmaker lifts lid

James Maddison has singled out Paul Gascoigne as the reason he simply had to sign for Tottenham this summer ahead of anybody else. The former Leicester City playmaker was tracked by Newcastle and Manchester United, who both hoped to snatch a bargain from the Foxes’ relegated squad.

However, having been brought up on videos of Gazza, lovingly curated by his own father Gary, the pull of the famous lilywhite shirt was too emotive to ignore.

“My dad’s favourite player when I was growing up was Gazza,” Maddison said. “That sort of midfielder who wants to be creative and entertain the fans and be a personality.

“That was one of the factors in why I wanted to go to Tottenham.

“You come to points in your life and career where you have to make a decision and when making decisions, you have to factor in things like that and everything as a whole. And that was one of the reasons I wanted to go to Tottenham.

Purely because I could just see myself playing for Tottenham. I’m not even 100 per cent sure what I mean by that, so don’t ask me!

“I could just see myself in that team, in that kit, in that stadium. It just fitted well for me.  And they’ve always had that type of player.

“My dad used to put football videos together. He is a graphic designer and is good with computers and stuff and he used to put montages together with Gazza features on a lot of them, so I remember a lot of his clips.

“I loved players who had personality, I loved watching players who had a little bit of cheekiness about them, a little bit more than the bog-standard.

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“Gazza was a perfect example. For example, something silly … I remember a clip where the cameras are going down the national anthem and it gets to him and he sticks his tongue out and starts messing around with the camera and going all bog-eyed.

“I just love that. That’s why I like interacting with fans and showing my personality.

“I don’t know if you saw the clip of me moving the ball out from the corner flags with the Bournemouth fans but it’s just little stuff like that which I enjoy doing, that keeps me hungry and stuff.

“I like the theatre element of almost being the villain a little bit. That keeps me at my best. That’s how I enjoyed watching it and that’s how I enjoy playing it.”

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