Brendan Rodgers has insisted James Maddison had a positive experience at the World Cup, despite returning from Qatar without making a single England appearance.
The Leicester manager also revealed the midfielder is still struggling with fitness and will make a late call to see if he will feature in their Premier League comeback against Newcastle on Boxing Day – which is EXCLUSIVELY live on talkSPORT .
Despite the clamor for Maddison to be included in Gareth Southgate’s squad for the tournament in Qatar, the playmaker did not feature as the Three Lions went out in the quarter-final against France.
But Rodgers says his player is in good spirits and has tasted the experience which has made him even more eager to break into the team.
“Of course you would like to see the players get the opportunity, but I had a long debrief after when he came back, he was very grateful to have the opportunity to be there,” Rodgers said on Friday.
“He knows that if necessary, he was able to impact him. He came away with great experience and an even greater motivation to establish himself in the team.
“He did a brilliant job before the World Cup to fit into the team and hopefully in the future he can use that experience of being there with the side and look to get involved in a few more competitions.
“He’s been consistent for 18 months now so hopefully with availability I have no doubts about his talent, I’m pretty sure we’ll see that same level.”
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The 26-year-old is still struggling with the knee injury that hampered him at the start of England’s World Cup campaign and he sat out Tuesday’s Carabao Cup win over MK Dons.
Maddison did not train on Friday, perhaps explaining why he did not play in Qatar, and is in a race against time to be fit for Monday’s visit to Newcastle.
Rodgers remarked, “We’re going to give him every chance to see where he is.
“He’s had persistent issues with his knee for a little while so we’ll be evaluating that over the next few days.”
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