‘It’s got to be personal!’ Jack Wilshere says James Maddison’s exclusion from Gareth Southgate’s England squad is ‘very harsh’ – with ex-Three Lions star insisting the Leicester star should be ‘in the conversation at least’
- James Maddison has not been called up to the national team since 2019
- The Leicester midfielder only has one cap to his name in an England shirt
- Jack Wilshere says the reason ‘has to be personal’ with Gareth Southgate
- Wilshere pointed to Maddison’s stats compared to Phil Foden and Jack Grealish
Ex-England international Jack Wilshere’s believes James Maddison’s England exile has ‘got to be personal’ with manager Gareth Southgate.
The Leicester playmaker has not featured for England since 2019 and only has one cap to his name, against Montenegro in November of that year.
A month earlier, he drew criticism after he withdrew from a squad through illness but was later seen visiting a casino – and from 2020 onwards, Southgate has looked elsewhere for options in midfield.
Jack Wilshere’s believes James Maddison’s England exile has ‘got to be personal’
Gareth Southgate has looked elsewhere for options in midfield since Maddison’s sole 2019 cap
Yet former Three Lions star Wilshere – who has 34 caps to his name – insists 25-year-old Maddison should at least be in the conversation for the England squad for this year’s World Cup in Qatar.
Maddison recorded a career-high for goals and assists this season, scoring 18 and notching 12 respectively in all competitions.
‘The one thing these games will have done for Southgate is that he’ll know his starting XI now for the first game of the World Cup, he will,’ Wilshere told talkSPORT.
Then asked why the squad is unlikely not to include James Maddison and Eric Dier, Wilshere says: ‘It’s very harsh, especially on Maddison… more goals and more assists than Grealish, Foden, Ward-Prowse.
Queried whether it’s personal, he adds: ‘It’s got to be personal. Chances created as well, he’s sixth in the whole Premier League. Sixth!
Wilshere emphasised that Maddison’s stats are better than Phil Foden’s and Jack Grealish’s
‘We’re looking for a creative midfielder – I’m not saying none of them can create because I love Grealish and I love Foden. But you’ve got to put Maddison in that conversation at least!’
Foden, Grealish and Ward-Prowse were all named in Southgate’s Nations League squad for this month’s internationals, which concluded winless and with a humiliating 4-0 loss at home to Hungary on Tuesday,
The Manchester City pair also featured at Euro 2020 last summer, while Maddison’s form for the Foxes is yet to convince Southgate of a recall.