Rodgers: 'No debate' over James Maddison for England's World Cup squad

‘It’s not a debate’: Brendan Rodgers claims James Maddison SHOULD be picked in England’s squad for the World Cup… as the Leicester star admits he hopes his starring role in the win over Everton was enough to get him on the plane to Qatar

  • James Maddison said a possible World Cup call up is on his mind after 2-0 win 
  • The England midfielder assisted both goals as Leicester City won at Everton
  • He said that representing his country in Qatar would be the ‘pinnacle’ for him
  • Foxes boss Brendan Rodgers said there was ‘no debate’ about his inclusion 

James Maddison cannot shake thoughts of being in Gareth Southgate’s 26 for the World Cup, after his two assists led to Leicester’s goals in their 2-0 win at Everton.

The 25-year-old set up Youri Tielemans for the stunning opener just before half-time at Goodison Park, while he also lent a hand to Harvey Barnes for the goal which sealed the win four minutes from time for the Foxes. 

Maddison has just one England cap, a substitute appearance against Montenegro in 2019, but his creative flair to both score and set up goals for Brendan Rodgers’ Leicester side means that there are many calls for him to be involved for the national side in Qatar.  

James Maddison has played once for England, but still wants to be called up for the World Cup

Speaking to Sky Sports reporter Geoff Shreeves after the win at Everton, Maddison spoke about the England rumours, whilst standing next to Belgian Tielemans.      

Maddison said: ‘I’ll be lying if I said it wasn’t in mind, the World Cup’s nearly here, and that’s the pinnacle, that’s the dream. Youri’s going with his country. He’ll tell you playing for your country at a major competition is the best thing ever, and the pinnacle of what you aim for. I’m not going to lie, Geoff, and say it’s not on my mind. 

‘I say the same answer, and it becomes a bit cliche. If I focus on what I’ll do for Leicester, and my performances here, hopefully that catches the eye of the England manager, and hopefully I can force myself into his plans, but it’s out of my control. I can just do what I did then for 90 minutes.’

Tielemans also praised the in-form Maddison, before awarding the man of the match award to his teammate. Tielemans said: ‘Two more assists from him, his form, his experience and his influence in the game. He’s brilliant for us, he’s a creative player.’

Maddison had two assists in Leicester’s 2-0 win, setting up Youri Tielemans for the opener

The debate around Maddison’s possible inclusion in England’s 26-man final squad will continue until the selection is finalised, but for Foxes manager Rodgers, he sees no reason why the Coventry-born attacking midfielder should not be on the plane.  

Rodgers told Sky Sports: ‘For me it’s not a debate, that’s the reality. I understand there’s lots of top players, and it’s great to see so many attacking players doing really well. You can’t find a player of that quality who has produced consistently over the last 18 months. 

‘You see him tonight, his ability on the ball, his awareness, his cleverness. If you want to be creating goals, scoring goals, then he’s one of the best out there. He’s a player that’s risking his game, but he’s risking it at the right moments. Assists tonight. He was unfortunate he didn’t score towards the end. 

Brendan Rodgers said for him there is ‘no debate’ about taking Maddison to the World Cup

‘Brilliant player, who’s ready for a World Cup with his maturity, 25 years of age. He’s performing week in week out in the Premier League. For him, he can do no more. He’s an outstanding talent.’

Leicester have a League Cup match at home on Tuesday to Newport County, before a final Premier League game at West Ham on Saturday ahead of the World Cup break.

Southgate’s final 26-man squad must be submitted to FIFA by November 14.  

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