Gareth Southgate has suggested that James Maddison would have deserved an England call-up but the Leicester man missed it due to the consistency of his competitors who have more international experience.
Maddison, who played just one game for the senior Three Lions team, had an impressive season after scoring 18 goals and registering 12 assists in all competitions.
On top of that, the 25-year-old picked up the Foxes’ Player of the Year award after coming into good form from October.
But despite Maddison having arguably had the best season of his career, the Foxes star has once again missed out on a call-up for England’s upcoming Nations League fixtures, which will see them face Hungary, Germany and England. Italy in June.
Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers thinks Maddison ‘can’t take it anymore’ to earn a place in the England squad, but Southgate said it’s the consistency of those with more experience with the Three Lions preventing him from entering.
“He [Maddison] finished the season very well. He obviously scores goals, but we just think we’re very happy with the players who have been with us,” Southgate explained in his press conference.
“He’s competing with Mason Mount and Phil Foden and those types of players in the role where he’s at his best.
“It’s one of the positions where there’s a lot of strength in depth and you may have to leave out players who may be just as deserving.”
Tottenham defender Eric Dier is in the same boat as Maddison, having also been denied a call-up on Monday despite an outstanding end to the season.
The 28-year-old hasn’t made an error leading to an opposition goal in his last 110 Premier League appearances, a feat dating back to February 2018.
However, he is still absent from North London rival and fellow defender Ben White.
Meanwhile, Manchester United trio Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Luke Shaw have also been left out.
Maddison’s Leicester team-mate, full-back and namesake James Justin, has been called up for the first time. West Ham star Jarrod Bowen has also received his first England call-up.
Justin was given the nod with Chelsea full-back Ben Chilwell who was still recovering from an ACL injury.
The Nations League will serve as a good test for Southgate to test who he will call into his squad for the World Cup in Qatar later this year.
For now, Maddison will have to continue to wait patiently…