England coach Gareth Southgate hailed James Maddison as one of the best attacking midfielders in the Premier League when naming the Leicester City midfielder to his Three Lions squad for the 2022 World Cup on Thursday (10/11).
Southgate, previously, trusted more big names despite their lackluster performances and ignored Maddison.
The 25-year-old midfielder has only strengthened the England national team once, in 2019.
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He reaped controversy after being caught on camera in a casino a few days after withdrawing from the England national team citing illness, three years ago.
However, among the England national team players that Spouthgate can choose from, Maddison is only behind Harry Kane in the number of goals and assists in the Premier League this season.
“He has proven himself worthy. I feel he can give us something different to the other attacking players we have,” said Southgate.
“I think he plays as well as any other attacking player in this country. In him we have a different type of threat and I think we need that,” he continued.
The duet of Manchester City players Kyle Walker and Kalvin Phillips were called up even though they were still not fit.
Southgate acknowledged that Walker may not be fit when England kick off their 2022 World Cup campaign against Iran on November 21.
The right-back is still recovering from a stomach injury while Philips has only played 13 minutes this season as a substitute in the League Cup game against Chelsea on Thursday (10/11) early morning WIB.
“We felt it was a risk worth taking,” Southgate acknowledged of Phillips’ selection.
“He has recovered from injury. We realized he would not be able to play in seven games for 90 minutes. We will start working on getting him fit,” he continued.
Manchester United captain Harry Maguire is also in the England squad even though his position at the Red Devils has been displaced.
The absence of Chelsea defender Reece James has prompted Southgate to call on Liverpool defender Trent Alexander-Arnold.
After fighting Iran, England will face the United States and Wales in Group B.
England national team squad:
Goalkeeper: Jordan Pickford (Everton), Nick Pope (Newcastle), Aaron Ramsdale (Arsenal)
Defender: Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw (both Manchester United), Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur), John Stones, Kyle Walker (both Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Newcastle), Conor Coady (Everton), Ben White (Arsenal), Trent Alexander- Arnold (Liverpool)
Midfielder: Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund/Germany), Mason Mount, Conor Gallagher (both Chelsea), Declan Rice (West Ham United), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Kalvin Phillips (Manchester City)
Attacker: James Maddison (Leicester), Phil Foden, Jack Grealish (both Manchester City), Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Raheem Sterling (Chelsea), Callum Wilson (Newcastle United), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United) ( Ant/OL-1)