Maddison determined to grab England opportunity

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The Leicester midfielder has been called up to Gareth Southgate's Nations League squad to face Croatia and Spain with Mason Mount and Jadon Sancho

James Maddison is determined to give England manager Gareth Southgate no reason to send him back to the Under-21s.

The Leicester City midfielder has been called into the Three Lions' senior ranks for the first time for the UEFA Nations League games against Croatia and Spain.

And the attack-minded 21-year-old, who models himself on David Silva and Philippe Coutinho, intends to grab his opportunity.

Maddison, promoted along with Derby's Mason Mount and Borussia Dortmund starlet Jadon Sancho, told The Guardian: “We have been given this opportunity to show what we are about in the seniors; me, Mason and Jadon.

“If it was up to me I’d never go back to the Under-21s because this is where every young boy dreams of being. Aidy [Boothroyd, the Under-21s manager] is saying: ‘Give Gareth a choice where he doesn’t put you back down and wants you here constantly in the squad’, and that is what we are all aiming to achieve.”

Leicester signed Maddison, who started his career with hometown team Coventry, from Norwich for £25million in the summer - and his eight Premier League appearances have already produced three goals.

Those statistics illustrate why he caught Southgate's eye and the youngster is confident he can make his presence felt.

“The No.10 position is my favourite role," he added. "I am a player who likes to play in between the lines and try to break that midfield line whether it’s when I receive a pass or can go and show everyone what I am about.

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“I was always smaller than the rest coming up at Coventry and I developed physically more in the later stages. In the academies people develop differently and going into that No.10 role helped me because central midfield was always packed with big, strong boys. 

"The No.10 helped take that edge out of it and, when I caught up physically, I had grown to love that role and made it my own at Coventry, so I went from there.”

England face Croatia behind closed doors in Rijeka on Friday and meet Spain in Seville on Monday.

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