It’s been a long road back to fitness for Leicester midfielder James Maddison in recent months.
The former Norwich man was a key figure in the Foxes side that pushed for a top four place for the majority of last season, until a hip injury saw him miss the majority of the post-lockdown season and a lot of the start of this campaign.
His injury coincided with a huge loss of form last season, with Leicester eventually falling out of the top four and missing out on Champions League football on the final day.
This season he has been eased back into action, starting several games from the bench at the start of the new season, with Brendan Rodgers ensuring he wouldn’t rush the 23-year-old back too soon.
In recent weeks though, Maddison has been reinstalled as a key figure in the Leicester attack and looks back to his best.
He has started each of Leicester’s last three games, all coming in the space of a week, and has been excellent as the Foxes got six points from those games, losing only to Everton.
The sharpness is back and was at it’s most obvious as he scored an absolute belter against Tottenham, only for VAR to call it back for an offside that was as tight as we’ve seen before.
A long ball in behind saw Maddison run beyond Eric Dier and Toby Alderweireld and bring the ball down perfectly with his left foot and into space in one motion. Then with his next touch, Maddison cooly slotted the ball past Hugo Lloris into the far corner with his right foot.
While it didn’t count, it showcased exactly why ‘Madders’ is so revered by fans in England as a top tier talent.
His intelligence, his ability to play between or beyond the lines, his quality in his end product and the way he loves to receive the ball on the half-turn constantly are what make him so good.
There’s a similarity to David Silva in his reception of the ball, that consistently allows him to keep away from any pressure from the opposition and into space. He is always looking forward to set Jamie Vardy free and that creativity is something England have severely lacked in recent months.
While Mason Mount and Jack Grealish have had their own battles in the national team for a spot in the lineup, and proved they can in fact play together, the addition of Maddison into the equation is only good news for England.
Creativity and efficiency, Maddison is ready to challenge for his spot in the national team and if Leicester don’t quite make it into the Champions League again then don’t be shocked to see the big six start circling.