Brendan Rodgers has allayed fears surrounding James Maddison’s World Cup chances after the 25-year-old limped off during the first half of Leicester’s 2-0 win at West Ham.
Having scored an eight-minute opener, Maddison cut a devastating figure as he clutched the back of his knee before walking off the pitch and straight down the tunnel.
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However, Leicester boss Rodgers says the move was just “precautionary”, adding: “he’s okay”.
Later, the Northern Irishman told the official club website: “It was nothing. He hasn’t trained so much this week. He had some lighter days. He wanted to give it a go but he just felt, when he was looking to extend and sprint, there was just a bit of soreness. We didn’t want to risk anything for him.”
Maddison’s goal on Saturday was his seventh this season and further justified Southgate’s decision to select him.
“He’s playing really well,” Southgate told the assembled media at St George’s Park. “He’s a good player. We’ve always said he’s a good player.
“At various stages there have been conversations about James. He is playing as well as any of the attacking players in this country.
“I did speak to James because there was a lot of speculation this morning that he wouldn’t be with us. A couple of weeks ago, we decided that he would be with us. We obviously weren’t going tell him then.
“He was delighted and as I said, I had some difficult calls that were emotionally on the other end of the spectrum, so it was nice to give myself a little bit of an enjoyable end to that.”
Maddison had celebrated the news by tweeting an old photograph of his younger self donning Three Lions face paint, with the caption: “It hasn’t sunk in… I’m going to The World Cup. Dreams really do come true.”
England’s first World Cup game takes place on November 21 against Iran, before they take on the USA and Wales in their other group games.
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