Why didn’t Gareth Southgate get this guy on the plane?
We were all too busy waxing lyrical about Kevin De Bruyne this season to notice that over at Norwich, James Maddison was lighting things up in the Championship.
Thankfully the top clubs were paying attention to him, as the midfielder is now being touted with a transfer to several of England’s big boys.
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Maddison’s creative antics last season were such that one stat places him above Man City’s De Bruyne, with the Norwich man having made the third most key passes in Europe, more than the Belgium.
Here’s the proof…
So, with it signed, sealed, and delivered that Maddison is a better footballer than De Bruyne, what else should we know about Norwich man?
The 21-year-old started his career with Coventry City, before signing for Norwich in February 2016.
He was then immediately loaned back to his former club, when he saw out the remainder of the season.
Another loan move then followed for the first part of the 2016-17 campaign, this time to the Scottish League with Aberdeen.
Maddison finally made his long awaited Norwich debut in April 2017, coming off the bench to score in a 3-1 win against Preston.
The creative midfielder did enough in his eight appearances that season to convince the incoming manager Daniel Farke to give him more playing time the following year.
Maddison rewarded that faith shown in him by Farke, and was the bright spark in an otherwise disappointing campaign for the Canaries.
The Englishman proved himself consistently over the course of the season, picking up the Norwich Player of the Month award four times in a row.
Maddison popped up with 15 goals and 11 assists in 49 games in all competitions for the Yellows.
He was named Norwich’s player of the season and was also nominated for the Championship Young Player of the Season award.
The 21-year-old has already had a taste of what life could be like in the Premier League, after he featured when Norwich played Chelsea in the FA Cup and Arsenal in the Carabao Cup last season.
Maddison has some international experience to his name too, representing England three times at U21 level.
The midfielder provided an assist for Dominic Calvert-Lewin in the Three Lions’ European Under-21 Championship qualifier win against Ukraine in March this year.
Maddison is currently undergoing treatment on a knee ligament injury he picked in the Canaries’ 5-1 defeat to Sheffield Wednesday on the final day of the season.
The play-maker is expected to be fit again in time to join up with the Norwich squad for their pre-season schedule.
A spot in England’s World Cup squad, more realistically making the standby list, might have been a possibility for Maddison had he not got injured.
Maddison wouldn’t have put it past himself and certainly isn’t a player lacking confidence, telling the Guardian “I’ve always wanted to be a winner, the best player, the one that everyone is talking about,”
He even retweeted that stat himself… fair play
Earlier this season, the creative midfielder extended his stay at Carrow Road, signing a new deal until 2021.
Norwich however might not have much choice but to sell cash in on Maddison this summer, with £25million rumoured to be the amount required to secure the midfielder’s signature.
England could soon have the creative midfielder we have all been desperately waiting for.
James Madison > Kevin De Bruyne
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The greatest show on Earth just got that bit more exciting.
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The game officially launches on June 1 – but you can pre-register for the game now.
If you’re an existing Dream Team customer the World Cup game now appears in the app or you can enter here, but if you’re not follow these simple steps:
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From Russia with a whole lot of love.