Tottenham Hotspur assistant Cristian Stellini has admitted that they admire James Maddison amid reports linking him with a move away from Leicester.
Spurs come up against Maddison this weekend as they visit the King Power Stadium. The Londoners are keen to make up ground in the Champions League qualification race.
Maddison has netted eight Premier League goals this term but he has been unable to prevent Leicester from being involved in a relegation fight.
Talk surrounding the future of the England international continues to rumble under the surface with his terms at Leicester set to expire in 18 months and Tottenham’s interest in the 26-year-old dates back to his time at Coventry.
“We like Maddison like a player. He is an important player in this league,” Stellini admitted.
“A player with an important type of skill, like his delivery, his cross. His right foot is a very important foot so he shoots, he crosses, he takes the set-pieces.
“He is a player you have to take care of. When you play against this player, you have to be careful.
“When you feel how important is this type of skill, for sure you like this type of player. He’s a player with talent.
“At the moment he’s playing for Leicester, a team we play against. We take care of him like an opponent.”
The Foxes valued Maddison at £60m in the summer and Man City are being linked with him. A recent report suggested that they expect to face ‘intense competition’ for his signature from Newcastle.
Maddison struck in last weekend’s 4-2 win at Aston Villa to further show the knee injury that disrupted his World Cup campaign in Qatar is firmly behind him.
He was also on target back in September when Leicester suffered a 6-2 thrashing at Tottenham.
Son Heung-min hit a 12-minute hat-trick but it failed to kick-start his campaign and he has scored only five more times in all competitions this season.
Assistant Stellini believes the Spurs attacker is getting closer to his best form, adding: “In the last three to four games, my perception is that Sonny played amazing games.
“Also when he didn’t score, he helped the team and I could show you games when Sonny was so important in the defensive situation and how it’s important with his capacity to run, to attack the space, to create space for the other players.
“It’s not only about scoring goals. My perception is this, I want Sonny to continue to play (like this) and then for a player like him, the goal will arrive and we are here to wait for that moment with him.
“Every striker wants to score every game but there are games and periods where you score more and every time you shoot, you reach the target and score. Sometimes you shoot a lot and are unlucky.
“For us, as coaches, it’s important what Sonny does for the team and when Sonny does score, we will like him like every time. But I repeat, he played amazing games.”
Tottenham will be without Hugo Lloris (knee), Cristian Romero (suspension) and Yves Bissouma (ankle) on Saturday but manager Antonio Conte will be part of the travelling party.