It may be on the back of his Leicester City shirt, but James Maddison does not want to be labelled as a number 10. The midfielder says his best position is the box-to-box number eight role he now most regularly plays under Brendan Rodgers. When he first arrived from Norwich, Maddison was considered an out-and-out attacking midfielder and spent much of his maiden City campaign in the hole behind Jamie Vardy. But he now feels that the number 10 tag is not an accurate reflection of his qualities, with the 23-year-old adding a defensive nous to his game this term, when only Ricardo Pereira and Wilfred Ndidi have made more tackles for City.
James Maddison said “Number eight definitely, I played as a number 10 at the start of last season, and then when the gaffer [Rodgers] came in, I transitioned into a number eight, and sometimes I play off the left. I’ve played as a number 10 this season, maybe West Ham at home. Being a number eight has made me add that defensive side to my game. I’m never going to be a big tackler, I’m never going to go around smashing people. It’s that awareness and that responsibility of getting little toes in, little interceptions, because as a number eight you find yourself deeper a lot, so I’ve had to add that.”