BRENDAN RODGERS revealed James Maddison was “full of the joys of the world” when he finally discovered he was going to the world cup with England …. at the second attempt.
James Maddison was on top of the world at Leicester training after being called up for the England squadCredit: GETTY
Manager Brendan Rodgers has said that he is ‘really happy’ for Maddison
Maddison last played for England three years against MontenegroCredit: PA
Rodgers revealed: “He had a missed call from Gareth just before we were ready to go training,
“I told him to go into my office so that he could talk privately – and he came out full of the joys of the world.
“I was really happy for him.
“It’s private what was said but the feeling was just happiness and relief as well.
“I’m sure all sorts of things were going through his mind.
“The way it was being painted was there was more going against him than for him in terms of making the squad.
“In fairness to Gareth he’s looked at it with logic and seen a player who can help the squad.
“The stories overnight looked as if he would not be making it,
“So it’s really good management by Gareth the way he has included him.”
But it was all smiles on the training ground as Maddison was snapped in a buoyant mood after receiving his call from Southgate.
The playmaker was seen laughing with manager Rodgers as he took to the field ahead of the Foxes’ weekend Premier League clash with West Ham.
The midfielder was Southgate’s most dramatic wild card pick despite his outstanding form this season.
Although Southgate handed Maddison his England debut in November 2019, when he sent him on for the final half hour of against Montenegro, he hasn’t used him since.
However Rodgers reckons Southgate’s loss will become a huge gain for him in Qatar as a new, more mature Maddison, is capable of taking the World Cup in the desert by storm.
Rodgers says he’s delighted Southgate has such a talent available to him, adding: “Firstly it’s wonderful news for James, his family and everyone at Leicester.
“I’m delighted for Gareth to have such a wonderful talent available for this tournament.
“James’ work ethic and the incredible talent he has shown for the last few years has swung it for him.
“Everyone knows he is a fantastic talent, one of the very best in the Premier League but I’m also sure James would be the first to accept he is also due thanks to the team-mates who have helped him.
“The most important thing for James, who has only had one cap before, was about getting there,
“But you never know what will happen at a World Cup.
“The great thing is he has the opportunity to be involved in the training sessions, so the opportunities are there for him now he’s in the mix.
“He adds personality, honesty, enthusiasm, passion and great ability.
“But all round, he’s just a good man who will add to the squad and he is capable of making an impact if he comes on, or has the good luck to start a game.
“This is a man who has shown great resilience and passion to keep working hard and now he is in the squad he won’t stop.
“The England team is full of talent in all areas. But what James has developed is the ability to create goals and score them.
“People talk about his best position but he has played all across the front line and he plays for me wide on the right yet still creates goals and chances.
“He can play like a right winger, yet he still finds space on the left side too because he has the intelligence to create space for himself.
“He can play as a No 10 and the great talent he has is his ability to see a forward pass for the front players. He is absolutely key to playing forward quickly.
“Plenty of players can keep the ball. But few are prepared to take risks and at a World Cup you need someone who can see the forward pass and play it.
“England have other players with talent but James has a special talent which can unlock tight defences and he can also score goals.”
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