James Maddison has admitted that he studied Manchester United’s Bruno Fernandes a few seasons ago in order to improve his own game in front of goal.
- Fernandes dazzled with 2020-21 performances
- Maddison admitted studying Portugal midfielder
- Later gave positive injury update on hamstring
WHAT HAPPENED? Maddison has revealed that he looked to the United midfielder for inspiration when his goals had started to dry up. Fernandes scored 28 goals and provided 19 assists in all competitions for Manchester United in 2020-21, producing performances that made the England and Leicester City man take note.
WHAT THEY SAID: “A couple of seasons ago, when I wasn’t in the England squad, Bruno Fernandes was playing very well for Manchester United and putting up ridiculous numbers in terms of goals and assists,” Maddison told reporters. “So I probably watched him a bit closer at that time. ‘How is he scoring so many goals? What runs is he making that I’m not?’. If that makes me a student of the game, then that’s what I am“
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Maddison went on to put England fans’ minds at ease when he revealed his injury sustained against West Ham was nothing serious. While the knock may require some extra training away from the main squad, the midfielder should still be able to feature at the Qatar World Cup, which will be his first major international tournament with the Three Lions.
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DID YOU KNOW? Maddison’s only England cap came in a 7-0 win over Montenegro in 2019, although he has been on the bench five times for Gareth Southgate’s side.
WHAT NEXT FOR MADDISON? Given his positive injury news, Maddison will be hoping to feature at some point in England’s World Cup opener against Iran on Monday.