Sunday, March 26, 2023

Tottenham and Arsenal transfer target set to start for England vs Ukraine at Wembley

James Maddison is expected to make his first start for England this evening when the Three Lions host Ukraine at Wembley Stadium. The Leicester City playmaker looks poised to line-up on the left-wing as Gareth Southgate’s side aim to make it two wins from two to start their Euro 2024 qualifying campaign.

After earning his first cap back in 2019, as a substitute against Montenegro, the 26-year-old has had to wait three-and-a-half years for his next international outing. Prior to today’s clash, Maddison has played just 35 minutes of senior international football, but a fine campaign for Leicester City has thrust him back into the conversation.

Despite being called up to Southgate’s World Cup squad at the back end of last year, he was denied the chance to get onto the pitch in Qatar after injury left him sidelined. Now the hard work is set to be rewarded by the England manager, as Sky Sports reports, with Maddison capitalising from the injury absences of Marcus Rashford and Mason Mount to show his worth ahead of next year’s major European tournament.

Maddison’s impressive form for the struggling Foxes this term has led to many of the country’s elite clubs considering a move for the England international. Chief among those is Tottenham, who were heavily linked with the midfielder in the January transfer window.

With Spurs in need of a creative midfielder to help add fluidity to their attacking lines, links to Maddison come as little surprise, and a switch in the summer could be high on their priority list. Spurs had registered a strong interest in Maddison throughout the summer transfer window but were put off by the Foxes’ £70million valuation.

Arsenal also hold a long-term interest in Maddison and were keen to sign the the Foxes star last summer. Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers has previously hinted at major departures occurring from the King Power Stadium in the coming windows as Leicester struggle to financially compete with English football’s heavyweights.

He told reporters: “It’s getting more difficult. The financial resources, not just in the top six, makes it really difficult. Clubs have multiple injections of finances. We have one owner and one family. Each year it gets tougher. It doesn’t soften our ambition to be super competitive.”

The contract situation surrounding Maddison has opened up the possibility of an exit from the King Power Stadium, with his deal expiring next summer and prospective suitors lining up for a move.

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