‘Who do you take out?’: Rio Ferdinand questions James Maddison’s World Cup hopes

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‘I like James Maddison but who do you take out?’: Rio Ferdinand casts doubt on the Leicester star’s World Cup hopes as he hints that Man City’s Jack Grealish is doing enough to be selected by Gareth Southgate

  • James Maddison faces an uphill battle to be in England’s World Cup squad
  • The Leicester midfield star has starred in the Premier League this season
  • Rio Ferdinand praised Maddison but remains coy on his England chances
  • Gareth Southgate is expected to name his World Cup squad on November 10 

Rio Ferdinand has claimed that Leicester star James Maddison may find himself left out of Gareth Southgate’s World Cup squad due to competition for places in midfield. 

Maddison’s possible involvement in the England side has been the subject of intense scrutiny heading into the Qatar tournament following an impressive start to the season at Premier League strugglers Leicester.

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The Englishman’s only senior appearance for the national came under current boss Gareth Southgate as Maddison made a 34 minute cameo in a European qualifier against Montenegro in 2019. 

James Maddison faces tough competition to be named in England’s final World Cup squad

Maddison (left) will be hoping to oust England and Man City star Jack Grealish (right)

Maddison (left) will be hoping to oust England and Man City star Jack Grealish (right) 

The 25-year-old hasn’t been called up to represent his country by the England manager since then with his chances of being selected for the World Cup that gets underway in 20 days looking slim.

The England manager is expected to name his final 26-man squad for the World Cup on Thursday 10 November,  with places in midfield expected to be highly competitive as England’s Premier League stars vie for a place in Southgate’s engineroom.

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Maddison has thrived for Leicester in the playmaker position so far this season, scoring six goals and registering two assists in 11 matches. 

Gareth Southgate will name his 26-man England squad for Qatar on Thursday November 10

Gareth Southgate will name his 26-man England squad for Qatar on Thursday November 10

A better return than Man City’s Jack Grealish, Chelsea’s Raheem Sterling and Mason Mount, and has scored more league goals than Arsenal star Bukayo Saka. All four are expected to make the final cut.

Speaking on his Vibe with Five Youtube channel, Ferdinand praised Maddison for ‘phenomenal’ performances this season but questioned whether he has done enough to oust one of Southgate’s regular stars. 

Maddison has scored more Premier League goals than Mason Mount this season

The Leicester star has enjoyed a better start to the season than Raheem Sterling

Maddison has scored more Premier League goals this season than both Mason Mount (left) and Raheem Sterling (right)

‘I don’t know(what he has to do to get selected). He didn’t play well at the weekend (v City). His stats, numbers, and performances recently have been phenomenal. 

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‘All I am going to say is who do you take out of that number 10 position? Who do you take out? Grealish, Foden, Mount, Saka, Sterling. Who do you take out? 

Rio Ferdinand labelled Maddison as a 'huge talent' but cast doubt on his World Cup hopes

Rio Ferdinand labelled Maddison as a ‘huge talent’ but cast doubt on his World Cup hopes

Maddison has played just once for the England senior team during the side's 9-0 hammering over Montenegro in 2019

Maddison has played just once for the England senior team during the side’s 9-0 hammering over Montenegro in 2019

‘I like James Maddison and think he has huge talent but it’s where does he fit in this squad and team. So Grealish to people like us in terms of stats isn’t where he should be. 

‘He hasn’t got enough assists and goals but if you went to Pep Guardiola and said: ‘In your team is he doing what you need him to do?’ The fact he keeps playing him suggests yes.’

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