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Laura Woods left baffled by James Maddison's exclusion from the England squad

George Nash

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Laura Woods left baffled by James Maddison's exclusion from the England squad

Broadcaster Laura Woods has labelled James Maddison’s exclusion from the latest England squad “a crying shame”.

The Leicester City midfielder, who grabbed 18 goals and 12 assists for the Foxes last term and so far has just one senior international cap to his name, has been overlooked by manager Gareth Southgate for the upcoming Nations League games with heavyweights Italy and Germany.

Image: Alamy
Image: Alamy

And with less than two months to go before the Three Lions kick off their World Cup finals campaign against Iran on November 21st, it seems likely the playmaker will also miss out on a seat on the plane to Qatar.

Maddison’s omission may come as a surprise to many fans after his strong start to the season has been one of the only positives in Leicester’s disastrous early form.

Brendan Rodgers’ side, not helped by a lack of activity in the summer transfer market, are currently rock bottom of the Premier League having suffered heavy defeats at the hands of Brighton and Tottenham in recent weeks.

Despite that, Maddison has three goals and an assist in seven games. And Woods believes that return should be rewarded with a call-up to Southgate’s England squad.

Image: Alamy
Image: Alamy

“I just can’t understand, 12 defenders. You’re taking 12 defenders, why don’t you just take James Maddison then?” she told talkSPORT.

“If you’re picking on current form which Gareth Southgate has said that he’d do in the past and you’re looking at who the standout players for their teams are at the moment, in a Leicester side who are struggling, James Maddison is an absolute bright light.

“I think it’s a crying shame that he’s not in an England shirt at the moment.”

Aside from his showing on the pitch, Woods has been particularly impressed by the way in which Maddison conducts himself in front of the media.

She added: “The whole ‘is it his attitude’ thing really baffles me, or what he does off the pitch, that baffles me a lot.

“We were talking about James Maddison yesterday and the way that he speaks to the media and I’m saying that I think he’s great, but loads of people are saying ‘he’s 25, he’s not beyond his years he should be speaking to the media’ and I’m like, hang on guys, I literally do this for a living.

“I speak to these footballers for a living. I speak to these players who are exactly the same age as him and he’s different in the way that he addresses the media.

“He’s different to a lot of other footballers.

“I think he’s got a smart head on his shoulders and I’d just love to see him in an England shirt.”

It seems it’s not just Woods who has been left baffled by the decision to exclude Maddison. Several fans took to Twitter to express their confusion at Southgate’s latest selection choices.

“It’s a madness that Maddison isn’t there. He is so underrated,” wrote one.

Another posted: “The lad has his head screwed on. But more importantly he has been a consistent performer for some time now.”

While a third added: “Madders is that intelligent, creative player that England is crying out for and his stats speak for themselves.”

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: James Maddison, Laura Woods, Premier League, England, Gareth Southgate, Leicester City

George Nash
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