Maddison will join England U21s as one of the Championship’s top talents as rapid rise with City continues
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
James Maddison’s first England Under-21 call-up may be a source of pride for Norwich City fans but it also brings fresh worries.
Talk of inevitable Premier League interest in the Canaries starlet has grown week on week as the playmaker has made clear he is more than capable of shining in the Championship.
Having been called up at U20 level but never capped as a youth international, it is good to see former City academy coach Aidy Boothroyd has noticed Maddison’s progress.
With Alex Pritchard out injured and Wes Hoolahan struggling to produce his magic consistently at the age of 35, the Coventry City academy product has grabbed his chance with both hands.
Three goals and two assists in 13 league appearances only tell half the story though.
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During the disappointment of being well beaten by Wolves in Tuesday night’s 2-0 loss at Carrow Road there was a shining light, Maddison still trying to create chances and trick his way through the visiting defence.
His skilful style and close control have made the 20-year-old a firm favourite at City already, just a third of the way into his first full season as a first team regular.
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After a reported £3.5million deal was wrapped up with Coventry, he returned to the Sky Blues and then Aberdeen on loan to continue his development, before scoring on his league debut for Norwich at the back end of last season.
Now he heads off to play alongside the country’s top talent in a European U21 Championship qualifier against Ukraine as hot property, considered one of the Championship’s best prospects.
It’s been a rapid rise and with Pritchard and Nelson Oliveira having injury problems, he is quickly becoming the Canaries’ most valuable asset – with the release of the club’s annual accounts this week emphasising that sales will be needed should promotion not be achieved this season.
Avoiding injury and burnout is the immediate concern though, with the Republic of Ireland also reportedly monitoring Maddison’s progress due to family roots bringing him to the attention of their scouts.
• Watch some of Maddison’s goals in the videos above
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