Maddison backed for key England role as pundit says ‘use of subs’ could decide World Cup

James Maddison during a press conference Credit: Alamy
James Maddison during a press conference Credit: Alamy

Danny Murphy has hinted that James Maddison can play a key role for England in their bid to win the 2022 World Cup.

Maddison was named in the Three Lions’ 26-man squad for the tournament in Qatar.

Although he had started the season very well for Leicester City, many fans did not believe Gareth Southgate would pick him.

He was selected and fully deserved his place on the plane to Qatar.

England have been getting used to the hot weather in Al Wakrah and invited migrant workers to their training session on Thursday.

Maddison actually limped off the pitch in the first half of Leicester’s match at West Ham last Saturday.

Many feared for the playmaker’s World Cup, but he seems to be okay.

While he was definitely fit enough to travel to the Middle East, Maddison has not been involved in full training for the last two days.

The 25-year-old was the only player not fully involved as England continue preparations for their opening match against Iran on Monday.

Should he be fully fit, many believe Maddison can be one of the difference makers for the Three Lions at the World Cup.

With 11 goal contributions in 13 Premier League matches this season, he goes into the tournament in the form of his life.

Former England and Liverpool midfielder Danny Murphy is a big fan and believes he can “make an impact” for Southgate’s side.

“He’s (Maddison) certainly got the mentality and the ability to make an impact at this level,” Murphy said..

“He’s playing the best football I’ve ever seen him play. He’s demanding the ball, his passing is terrific, he’s got that lovely balance on the ball. He’s got many attributes that will suit international football.

“I’ve done a few live Leicester games this season and he’s been tremendous. I couldn’t see any reason for leaving him out. I really couldn’t. I was really pleased to see him in.”

Murphy suggested Maddison could be an effective player off the bench at the tournament.

With the difficult conditions, the Match of the Day pundit says the use of substitutions “could ultimately be” what wins the World Cup.

“I think he’ll probably get some game time, and I think the use of the subs in this tournament, especially with the climate, could ultimately be what wins it,” he added.

“Players get tired, and when you’ve got really good attacking players who are creative and quick and intelligent, which we have in abundance, and we’re using them at the right time, it’s huge.”

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