James Maddison has picked out Chelsea and Tottenham midfielders as the Premier League’s best passers as he adapts to his new role in Brendan Rodgers’ Leicester City system.
The Englishman picked out Chelsea’s Jorginho and Tottenham’s Harry Winks as his two most difficult midfield opponents in the Premier League.
Maddison is playing a slightly deeper role than his customary no.10 position this season, where there is the added pressure of defending as well as creating and scoring.
Maddison believes he is developing that side of his game and picked out the players who made his life difficult last season.
“If I’m playing as a no.8, my job is to create and score goals, but also be able to help in the build-up,” Maddison told Sky Sports.
“Sometimes the other no.8 goes up, and you drop down, but I’m comfortable doing that.
“As a no.8, there is more demand on the out-of-possession stuff, like stopping passes getting through.
“The Premier League is the best league in the world, there’s no doubt about it. If you’re not sliding across quick enough to shut those passing lines, the type of players in those positions will just play it through.
“From who we’ve played this season, Jorginho is very good at it. He’s a very good footballer. I know last year he got a bit of stick here and there, but he is very good.
“Harry Winks is another good example, a very good passer of the ball. The job against Spurs was to get into a narrow three, force it wide, and stop the danger players getting it through the lines. Even then, when we were doing that quite well against Spurs, Harry Winks could get it through, with a quick two-touch pass.
“That’s the quality of opposition we play against. There isn’t a moment where you can switch off and not do your defensive duties, because you get punished, and every camera is on you.”
Maddison missed City’s last game, the 5-0 win over Newcastle, with an ankle injury, but is hoping to be available for this weekend’s meeting with Liverpool.
Maddison struck a brilliant late winner on his last outing against Spurs and is looking forward to testing himself against the league leaders at Anfield.
He added: “Am I a big-moment player? Yeah, definitely. To be a top player you’ve got to produce big moments in big games, when the most people are watching.
“It doesn’t matter if you can score a hat-trick on a Tuesday night in a cup game in front of 4,000 people, it’s that final with the world watching, everyone’s eyes are on you. That’s where you become a big player.
“It’s that drive within. Listen, I’ve scored one winning goal, it’s not like I’ve had a summer of Ben Stokes’ proportions, but it’s just about wanting to win. I’ve always had that. I’ve got that. I’ve always been a winner.
“I love the quote: ‘If you show me a good loser, I’ll show you a loser.’ There’s no such thing as a good loser really, is there? I’m a bad loser, because I love winning.”
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