Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers has today moved to lavish praise on James Maddison, on the back of his display versus Arsenal.
Maddison, a 22-year-old attacking midfielder, made the move to the King Power Stadium in the summer of 2018, on the back of a stellar campaign in the Championship with Norwich City.
And, despite his lack of Premier League experience, the Coventry youth product subsequently went on to take to the rigours of top-flight football like a duck to water.
Maddison played a crucial role in Leicester’s top-half finish, starting in all but 3 of the Foxes’ Premier League outings.
He also racked up a none-too-shabby 7 goals and 7 assists in the league alone, with the midfielder’s wicked set-piece delivery and free-kick prowess having lit up the King Power throughout the campaign.
Perfectly showcasing just how impressive a creative outlet Maddison proved over the course of the season was the following statistic:
James Maddison created the most chances (100) and scored more direct free-kicks (3) than any other player during the 2018-19 Premier League season.
Does those sort of stats remind you of anyone? 🎯 pic.twitter.com/f5YnhtKMKX
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) June 3, 2019
Maddison’s creative streak has also since carried into the beginning of the new season, with 6 direct goal contributions in 11 appearances.
The English international’s form has proven crucial to Leicester’s surprise run to 2nd in the Premier League table.
His latest fine display came yesterday evening, when the Foxes secured a crucial 2-0 win over top-4 rivals Arsenal.
Maddison’s pinpoint strike 15 minutes from time killed off any hopes of a potential Arsenal comeback.
As such, speaking on the back of his side’s latest victory, Brendan Rodgers was unsurprisingly keen to heap praise on his midfield conductor.
Speaking in an interview with the Athletic, the Leicester boss even went as far as to liken the talents of Maddison to those possessed by Philippe Coutinho, who Rodgers took charge of during his time at Liverpool:
‘James is a bit like Philippe Coutinho, they’re players who are recognised for their talent.’
‘But then to maximise that talent, in order for them to participate in the game at the highest level, they also have to be able to contribute to a press.’
‘Of course, James has his strengths, so you let him flourish with those strengths. But then we helped him with the tactical discipline. And he’s becoming very, very good at it.’