James Maddison enjoying his time with England as he aims for his first senior cap

Thursday 14 Nov 2019
James Maddison at St. George's Park

James Maddison says he can’t wait to get on the pitch for England, an honour he says would be “the pinnacle.”

The Leicester City midfielder has been in each of Gareth Southgate’s squads so far this season, but is yet to make his senior debut after missing October's games through illness.

But the 22-year-old is happy to be and among the group and to bide his time and keep pushing for a place, as the Three Lions prepare for November’s games with Montenegro and Kosovo.

“Any time to be in the squad is fantastic, I always see a call-up for England as the pinnacle,” he explained.

“It’s the best thing in the world, what a feeling. It’s only the early stages for me with England, but I love every minute and enjoy every day I’m involved.”

Maddison lines up a shot in training at St. George's Park earlier this week

Maddison has been in eye-catching form with the Foxes this season, proving one of the Premier League’s top performers after also shining for England U21s at their Euro Finals in Italy during the summer.

And the former Coventry City and Norwich City playmaker puts his rise down to the simple way he approaches the game and belief in his own ability.

“You’ve got to be at your best at all times, but never lose that child-like hunger of always wanting to play football and showcasing what got you here,” he added.

“You’ve got to be professional and realise you’re on a big stage with the England national team, but also play with freedom and confidence.

“I can’t speak for anyone else, but for me personally, I try to treat it like any other game. I’m yet to play many games, but if I’m called upon by the manager, I’ll just take it as I would with my club, the U21s or right back to when I was playing for school.

You can read more from Maddison in the programme for England's 1000th game, against Montenegro

“If you try and play differently because you’re with the England senior team, you might not play in the way which got you there. So just stick to what you do best, basically.

“You have to earn your place in the squad first and then the team which is what I’m working towards now.

“The trust and the opportunities are there from the coaching staff, so it’s a great time to be a young English player and I just want to seize my opportunity like everyone else.”

You can read a full interview with Maddison, along with his squad-mates Declan Rice and Callum Wilson, in the programme for England’s game with Montenegro, the nation’s 1000th men’s senior game.

By Nicholas Veevers