Maddison scored twice and set up another goal as Leicester overwhelmed rivals Nottingham Forest 4-0 to secure their first win of the season. Only Erling Haaland has more Premier League goals and assists than the 25-year-old since 11 May but Southgate has repeatedly overlooked Maddison, whose last England appearance came as a substitute against Montenegro in November 2019.
Rodgers said he hopes Southgate gives serious consideration to finding a spot for the midfielder in his 26-man squad for Qatar next month. “I would really hope that there was a place for a player like that in a squad, where you’ve got someone who is so talented and such a hard worker and such a team player,” the Leicester manager said. “This [Maddison] is a player who can come into a game and change the course of a game. To have that ability, if he wasn’t starting for you, on the bench to come in and bring something in a tight World Cup game, it’s what a team like England needs.”
Rodgers said victory for Leicester in the first east Midlands derby of the season could prove “season-changing” for his side and reiterated that Maddison has matured since arriving at the club from Norwich in 2018. “When I first came in he was a young guy, you see his haircuts, his bags and all of that sort of stuff, but he’s matured.
“James is an absolutely brilliant player and I really hope over these next few months he can continue his form and somehow get into the [England] team.”
Steve Cooper’s position is under intense scrutiny following five straight defeats, Forest’s worst run in a season since January 2004, but the manager insists his players are still fighting for him.
“You didn’t see the team give up,” Cooper said. “I know it’s a group of players that care. I’m definitely not sensing that [they don’t care] at the moment.
“We are trying to become a successful team on the job, in the hardest domestic league in the world. We have to tackle it head-on.”