Brendan Rodgers backs Leicester City star for England World Cup squad inclusion

Will Sewell
Brendan Rodgers talks about James Maddison

Leicester City boss Brendan Rodgers has put pressure on England manager Gareth Southgate to include James Maddison in his squad for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar next month.

Maddison has been in fine form this season, with the midfielder scoring six goals and providing two assists in his 10 Premier League outings so far.

Rodgers’ comments came after Leicester’s crucial 4-0 win against Wolves on Sunday; Maddison picked up a goal in an impressive performance that earned praise from his manager.

“He scores goals and creates goals. He is one of the leading talents of the country, not only the effort he puts in but everything he does,” the Northern Irishman told BBC Sport.

“I’m pretty sure he’s going to be in Gareth’s [Southgate’s] thinking, he just needs to keep performing well for Leicester.”

Following the performance – Foxes fan and Match of the Day host, Gary Linekar was also petitioning for Maddison to make the England squad.

“A fabulous goal from @Madders10 who is banging very loudly on the @England manager’s door,” tweeted the former England striker and World Cup golden boot winner.

Heavily linked with a move to Arsenal this summer, Maddison eventually stayed put at the King Power and has since seen his Leicester side endure an awful start to the Premier League season.

Following two wins on the bounce, however, Leicester are starting to re-find their form – and senior players like Maddison will have to play a vital role if they are to continue to climb out of the relegation zone and higher up the league table.

In fact, Maddison now joins an exclusive list of players who have been directly involved in 20+ Premier League goals this calendar year.

That list includes Kevin De Bruyne, Erling Haaland, Harry Kane, Son Heung-Min, Ivan Toney and now Maddison.

Amongst such fine company, the Leicester attacking midfielder has the right to feel aggrieved that he does not yet seem to be in Southgate’s plans.

Maddison has only featured once for England in the past, his debut coming in a 7-0 win over Montenegro in 2019, and he will have to impress in the few remaining games that come before Southgate must announce his 26-man squad on the 14 November.

In that time, Leicester face Manchester City, Everton and West Ham United in the Premier League as well as a trip to Newport County in the EFL Cup.

Whilst time is running out for Maddison to make his mark, a high-profile game against Manchester City this weekend may be just the platform he needs to further stake his name for a place on the plane.

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