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Leicester City’s James Maddison fears his World Cup dream will die

No other English midfielder has been directly involved with more goals than Leicester’s number 10 since the start of last season.

Leicester City's James Maddison celebrates scoring their side's third goal of the game during the Premier League match at King Power Stadium, Leicester. Picture date: Monday October 3, 2022.© PA

James MumbySunday World

James Maddison has admitted he faces an uphill battle to get into England’s World Cup squad due to the form of Manchester City’s Jack Grealish and Phil Foden.

The calls for James Maddison to be named in England’s 26-man squad for the World Cup in Qatar have gathered momentum this week after his sparkling performance against local rivals, Nottingham Forest.

No other English midfielder has been directly involved with more goals than Leicester’s number 10 since the start of last season, yet he still faces a battle to get into Gareth Southgate’s final squad for Qatar in November.

When asked by Sky Sports analyst Jamie Carragher for his opinion on being constantly left out, Maddison said: “It is hard to answer because you want to say the right thing and not the wrong thing, but that is an ambition of mine, a goal of mine.

"I am a football man, I watch international football and an opportunity at that level is something I desire and one I know I would have an impact at and one I hope will come my way at some point."

"On the role and the position, I could play any of those forward areas. You see the likes of Phil (Foden) and Jack (Grealish) who can play in those central areas, play a little bit wider.

"It is hard to comment because I played on the right today, but England play slightly differently with the back three.

"I will keep working hard, I have got to have the mindset of forcing my way in because those players at the big clubs are in at the minute and they are top players, but I think there could be a space for me.

"So I will keep working hard and producing performances like that tonight and see where it leads me."

Wonder strikes from Harvey Barnes, Patson Daka and a brace from Maddison handed Leicester a 4-0 thrashing to leapfrog their rivals leaving them bottom of the table, with Foxes boss Brendan Rodgers pushing his claims for an England call-up.

“It is such a shame I think for the country and for the boy himself that England have so many options,” said Rodgers.

“You see his talent and his performance level for the last 18 months is clear. I think it is only Harry Kane who has been involved in more goals among English players.

"It is a really difficult job being a manager and you know what it is like Gary being in there with the quality that's available.

"To not even been in the squad, and I think to have a player even if he is not going to start but a player of that quality... and not only that, in international football it is the personality to take the ball and be creative to change the game.”

A possible reason to explain his continued omission from the national side would be that there are a limited number of spaces available for Maddison to be able to play in his natural position, a play-making number 10 who drifts in from the wing and brings others involved.

In the aftermath of the east midlands derby on Monday Night Football, Gary Neville weighed in on Maddison’s chances of a seat on the plane to Qatar.

‘’Everyone at this moment in time is wanting England to be more progressive and to score more goals and to have more attacking players in the team," said Neville.

"This is the guy who is absolutely ripping it up at this moment in time in terms of his goal involvement.’’

"England usually need players who can deliver from set pieces and scores from them. Gareth Southgate has been big on that in the past four or five years but there are a few players in his position.’’

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