10th Dec, 2016

James Maddison urged to remain with Sky Blues despite Premier League interest

Steve Carpenter 24th Dec, 2015 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

SKY Blues starlet James Maddison has been urged to remain at the Ricoh Arena by boss Tony Mowbray to continue his development and play first team football.

The 19-year-old has been linked to a host of Premier League clubs in recent months, with Liverpool and Arsenal rumoured to be making offers for the academy graduate in January, while Tottenham have also scouted the teenager.

But Mowbray has insisted once again that the midfielder is not for sale and he feels Maddison would be better suited remaining at the Ricoh Arena for the time being to get much-needed game-time under his belt.

“My advice to James has always been to let his career develop and to play football,” said Mowbray.

“Here, he’ll be able to let his talent flourish where he is appreciated but if he moved to a big club, he isn’t going to get in their first-team.

My advice to the player and to the football club at the moment is to put all that behind you and let people write what they want to write. He should in a place where he’ll enjoy his football and let the talent grow.

“I think English teams want the best English players. Teams are getting in kids as young as 11 and buying them houses because they want those players.

“These big teams might think that they’ll able to get a player from a League One club but I have to say I think the owner is pretty resolved on the matter.

“James has only played something like 14 games at League One level. ”

Maddison has made only 14 first team appearances for his hometown club after progressing through the club’s academy but has been tipped to play at the very by many people at the club.

He made a fabulous start to the 2015/16 season having impressed playing behind loan star Adam Armstrong in the opening four games before picking up an ankle injury early on in the 2-1 defeat at Walsall.

Speaking to the Observer at the start of the season, Maddison admitted he was aware of interest from the Premier League but he was refusing to let any rumours get in the way of his football.

He said: “In football there’s always going to rumours and stories in the press – that’s part of the game and you’ve just got to learn to deal with it.

“I think I’m quite a wise lad despite my young age. I’ve got my head screwed on.

“It’s all part of the game. Things like that are going to happen. If you want to play well, like I always do, I always want to play my best, if those performances that I’m displaying are of a good quality then there’s going to be interest.

“So you’ve just got to take it your stride and just try focus on the football.”