Tottenham are reportedly leading the ‘race’ to sign Coventry midfielder James Maddison ahead of Liverpool and the two Manchester clubs, after the 18-year-old’s sterling efforts in breaking into Steven Pressley’s first-team thoughts during the first half of this season.
Maddison turned out 12 times in all competitions for the Sky Blues between August and Boxing Day, having only made his hometown-club debut at the beginning of term, starting twice since in League One and scoring his first senior goal against Oldham in October.
His absence from Coventry’s Under-18s side through a back complaint was keenly felt lately in their 8-2 FA Youth Cup loss to Manchester City’s expensive kids, although Maddison could be forgiven for thinking his luck was in that night.
However, judging by a recent interview with a local media source, the youngster looks unlikely to leave the West Midlands any time soon.
Maddison, who only signed a three-and-a-half year contract on his 18th birthday back in November, claimed his “debut came a little earlier than expected”. He said:
“I don’t think there’s a better club to be at as a young player wanting to play first team football.”
“Hopefully 2015 will be a big year for me and hopefully I can really stake a place in the first team.”
Those don’t sound like the words of a player looking to jump ship, and cautionary tales abound regarding young English gems who have been persuaded to give up their lower-league education for an early shot at the big time.
John Bostock’s move from Crystal Palace to Spurs in 2007, when the Camberwell native had turned out just four times for the Eagles’ first team, practically bounces to mind.
Bostock, now 23, is yet to make a Premier League appearance in his career, having been sent around the Championship, League One and even the MLS on loan during his time on the White Hart Lane books. He is now a bit-part player for OH Leuven in Belgium’s second division.
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