CONFIRMED: Former City star Maddison named in England senior squad for first time
PUBLISHED: 13:24 04 October 2018 | UPDATED: 19:26 04 October 2018
Former Norwich City midfielder James Maddison has been named in the England squad for Nations League ties against Croatia and Spain this month.
With Dele Alli ruled out with a hamstring injury and doubts over the fitness of Jesse Lingard, manager Gareth Southgate has decided to give Maddison his chance following an impressive start to his Leicester City career in the Premier League.
Maddison has scored three goals and set up another two in seven top-flight appearances and played in England Under-21s’ 0-0 draw with the Netherlands at Carrow Road last month.
His free-kick in the Foxes’ win over Huddersfield drew comparisons with David Beckham from the national media but Norwich fans won’t have been surprised by such an act of quality.
Maddison’s call-up continues his astonishing rise, which really gathered momentum last season with the Canaries where his 15 goals and 11 assists during an outstanding campaign earned him the club’s player-of-the-season award.
It was always anticipated that Norwich would have to cash in on their prized asset in the summer and so it proved with Leicester reportedly fending off interest from a host of other Premier League clubs to land the midfielder in a deal worth up to £25m.
Norwich fans will be hoping a clause was inserted in the deal linked to Maddison gaining international recognition.
The 21-year-old Coventry City academy product, signed by Norwich for around £2.5million in January 2016, has four U21 caps for his country.
The playmaker was among the Canaries supporters at Pride Park last night, alongside fellow former City players John Ruddy and Ryan Bennett, as Daniel Farke’s team drew 1-1 at Derby.
The England squad for the games in Croatia, behind closed doors on Friday, October 12 (7.45pm), and against Spain in Seville on Monday, October 15 (7.45pm) have been confirmed following news of Southgate signing a new contract through until the end of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar – having led the Three Lions to the World Cup semi-finals this year.
Jadon Sancho, Mason Mount and Maddison have all been handed their first senior England call-ups as Southgate plumped for arguably the boldest squad selection of his reign.
Exciting Borussia Dortmund 18-year-old Sancho has been selected for this month’s fixtures, and so too Mount after shining for Championship side Derby since joining from Chelsea on loan, while uncapped Watford midfielder Nathaniel Chalobah is back in the squad after recovering from a long-term knee injury.
Harry Winks, capped once, returns the day after starting for Tottenham against Barcelona in the Champions League, and Ross Barkley’s upturn in fortunes at Chelsea means he is in line to win his first cap since the friendly against Australia in May 2016.
Injuries and game-time have led to Southgate’s squad changes as much as the form of those called-up.
Alli is out with a hamstring injury, while the England boss has not selected Fabian Delph, Adam Lallana and Jesse Lingard given the question marks over their fitness.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who has not played for Chelsea since starting for England against Switzerland, has also been left out.
The uncapped duo of Marcus Bettinelli and Alex McCarthy again join up with Southgate’s goalkeepers.
England squad to face Croatia & Spain
Goalkeepers: Marcus Bettinelli (Fulham), Jack Butland (Stoke City), Alex McCarthy (Southampton),Jordan Pickford (Everton)
Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Joe Gomez (Liverpool), Harry Maguire (Leicester City),Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur), Luke Shaw (Manchester United), John Stones (Manchester City), James Tarkowski (Burnley), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham Hotspur), Kyle Walker (Manchester City),
Midfielders: Ross Barkley (Chelsea), Nathaniel Chalobah (Watford), Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), James Maddison (Leicester City), Mason Mount (on loan at Derby County from Chelsea), Harry Winks (Tottenham Hotspur)
Forwards: Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Danny Welbeck (Arsenal),