Maddison studied videos of United's Fernandes to earn England place

James Maddison reveals he ‘studied Bruno Fernandes’ game’ when Man United midfielder was ‘putting up ridiculous numbers’ before regaining scintillating form that earned him England call-up for World Cup

  • The Leicester midfielder is hoping to feature for the Three Lions out in Qatar 
  • There was uncertainty whether Maddison would be selected for the World Cup 
  • In a bid to earn a spot in the England squad, he became a ‘student of the game’ 
  • The 25-year-old admitted he studied videos of Man United’s Bruno Fernandes 
  • To follow our World Cup live blog ahead of the tournament starting – click here
  • Click here for the latest World Cup 2022 news, fixtures, live action and results

Leicester star James Maddison revealed he studied videos of Manchester United’s Bruno Fernandes in an attempt to earn a place in the England set-up.

Maddison – who missed England’s open training session in Doha this morning – is preparing for his first major tournament with the national side, having done enough to earn a call-up for Qatar.

There was uncertainty over whether he’d make Gareth Southgate’s squad but after a scintillating few months – inspired by United’s Fernandes – he made the list and has revealed the factors that helped him achieve it.

James Maddison revealed the methods that helped him earn a spot in England’s squad

The Leicester midfield admitted to studying videos of Man United’s Bruno Fernandes

Speaking to reporters in Doha, Maddison said: ‘A couple of seasons ago, when I wasn’t in the England squad, Bruno Fernandes was playing very well for Manchester United and putting up ridiculous numbers in terms of goals and assists.

‘So I probably watched him a bit closer at that time. ‘How is he scoring so many goals? What runs is he making that I’m not?’. If that makes me a student of the game, then that’s what I am.’

It’s likely that Maddison is referencing the 2020-21 season where Fernandes recorded 18 goals and 12 assists in the Premier League – compared to his eight goals and five assists.

The impact of his studying was evident, as the following season Maddison recorded 12 goals and eight assists for the Foxes – much improved from the year before.

The 25-year-old has continued to excel for the Foxes despite their shaky form this year

Bruno Fernandes in Portugal training as he prepares for his own World Cup campaign

He added: ‘I watch every game. My house is football mad. My girlfriend goes crazy because I watch so much. During the lockdown, when there were four games a day, I had them all on.

‘I try and take something from each of the players I watch, whether they are a higher level, the same level or lower. If I’m watching a game on TV, I’m often watching players in my position.’

Though he likes to watch games, he’ll be hoping he doesn’t have to watch all of England’s games from the sidelines despite missing out on their open training session today.

After limping off with a knee problem in the first-half of Leicester’s win at West Ham on Saturday, there were concerns over his availability for the World Cup.

Maddison was unable to partake in England’s open training session in Doha on Wednesday

Maddison was forced off in the first half of Leicester’s final game before the World Cup

But he put those worries to bed, as he said: ‘It’s okay. We had a scan the day before we met up. It was a positive scan.

‘I had a little problem building up to the West Ham game. I wanted to play, I didn’t want to not give it a go because of the World Cup. That’s not the person I am.

‘But there was a bit of soreness and it was getting a little bit worse as the game went on so I thought it was probably for the best for me to come off.

‘We’ve had the scan since, it was a good scan. It wasn’t any major problem. I have to do a bit of work to get up to speed with the physios here but it should be no concern.’

Gareth Southgate appeared in a relaxed mood ahead of his side’s opening game against Iran

Maddison has been in sparkling form for Leicester this season, scoring seven goals and providing four assists in the Premier League.

These numbers earned him an England recall just in time for the World Cup, three years after he earned his only cap for the national team.  

The other 25 members of Gareth Southgate’s squad were put through their paces in 33C heat out in Qatar as the Three Lions step up their preparations for their first match of the tournament.

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