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EPL star James Maddison talks with Thierry Henry, revealing desire to win the league title 

Leicester's James Maddison remains a wanted man with many clubs interested in the England international
Mo Omi
Modified 15 May 2020

English Premier League ( EPL ) legend Thierry Henry spoke to Leicester midfielder James Maddison in a Q&A on Puma's Instagram page about a number of topics - from the England international's inspirations growing up, to his goals for the future. 

Maddison, 23, scored six goals and created a further three assists in this season's EPL before the coronavirus suspended play in March.

Henry - an EPL legend in his own right - revealed that he's a big fan of the England international, who has received praise from Henry's former teammate Kolo Touré.

Touré is now under Brendan Rodgers' wing as a first-team coach for the EPL side, but Henry claimed the former defender waxed lyrical about Maddison's ability during conversations with the Frenchman - who won the Premier League's Golden Boot on four occasions as a player. 

"I spoke to Kolo and like the way you play, but who inspired you as a player?" 

Unsurprisingly, Maddison chose another EPL legend as his inspiration growing up - one that he's grateful to have competed against on a few occasions in recent seasons too. 

"David Silva. He - like myself - has been a bit smaller, I was weaker and a bit late in my development. Always used to watch the way he caresses and receives the ball, it's beautiful to watch. The first game I played against him, I begged the kitman to get his shirt and I studied him during his peak years at City. The way he turns? It's like he's got wing mirrors." 

The coronavirus suspended play at the worst possible time for EPL side Leicester, who had just thrashed relegation-threatened Aston Villa 4-0 and were looking forward to finishing the EPL season strongly. 

Maddison said: "Coming to the end of my second season now, in the Champions League places, fingers crossed we can end the season and finish our good work. He [Rodgers] has me working hard, pressing harder and changed me into a number eight who can do the defensive work too. I'm grateful for that." 

Henry happy with Maddison's progression

Henry praised Maddison's selfless nature, being a creative midfielder who wants to do his part for the team both in attack and defensively too. In this season's EPL, he averages the most key passes per game (2.7) for Leicester and has made more of a conscious effort off-the-ball too, with an improvement in his tackles per game (1.9) from previous seasons.

Henry said: "That's why I like the way you play. Strikers get judged on goals, sometimes you guys [midfielders] have to carry strikers. For you, it's like you enjoy giving [passes, opportunities for others] as much as you like scoring."

Lastly, Thierry asked Maddison about his biggest goals - an answer the 23-year-old said has only occurred to him recently. 

EPL midfielder targets trophies after Villa cup defeat

Aston Villa beat Leicester over two legs to reach the Carabao Cup Final, one Maddison remembers
Aston Villa beat Leicester over two legs to reach the Carabao Cup Final, one Maddison remembers
"I'd say I have a trophy cabinet but I don't have any, a lot of individual accolades and whatnot but no trophies. I want trophies! When we lost to Aston Villa in the Carabao Cup semi-finals, it was a feeling I'd never felt before and that's when I knew something has to change." 

He joined two years after Leicester's fairytale EPL triumph in the 2015-16 season, winning against all odds in a stacked division with top-quality rivals who faltered at every turn. Naturally, Maddison wants to be successful too: 

"When I walk around the training ground, the stadium and see the lads talk about the success, how happy it made them, how happy it made you [at Arsenal], it wets my appetite." 
Published 15 May 2020, 02:22 IST
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