Claude Puel backs James Maddison to stay grounded after maiden England call-up

Leicester City manager Claude Puel has backed James Maddison to stay grounded after earning a maiden call-up to the England national team. The former Coventry City graduate joined the Foxes from Norwich City after a solid Championship season last term and he has since made himself ever-present in an attacking midfield role.

Speaking to reporters, Puel was pleased with Maddison’s selection for the Three Lions and believes the youngster has the character to remain grounded, he said: “He has the character to keep his feet on the ground, this is the most important thing. He has a good personality and it’s important he continues his mentality to improve. It’s a good reward… he has fantastic attributes and tough character at 21. He has a lot of maturity and is an intelligent player. We know his quality. He is a creative player and good on set pieces.”

England boss Gareth Southgate started the project of grooming youth into the national side during the previous campaign and he has continued to do so this term with the focus on building a solid team for Euro 2020 and the 2022 World Cup thereafter. As a result, there have been surprise call-ups and alongside Maddison, the likes of Mason Mount and Jadon Sancho have made the team for the very first time.

Mount, a graduate from Chelsea, has been hugely impressive during his season-long loan with Derby County after topping their scoring charts with five goals and this has convinced Southgate into picking him despite the restriction often placed on Championship-based players. Meanwhile, Jadon Sancho has been a rare case after making his career abroad with Borussia Dortmund and Southgate has apparently found it tough to ignore the teenager, who is presently Europe’s highest assist-maker with seven across all competitions for Dortmund this season.

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