James Maddison is to make his first ever start for England today as they face Ukraine in the Euro 2024 qualifiers. It will be the Newcastle United target’s first international cap since 2019.
Maddison remains one of Eddie Howe‘s top targets this summer and is expected to be the subject of a fresh bid by the Geordies having failed to land the 26-year-old last summer as they refused to meet Leicester City‘s £60million asking price.
Sky Sports have reported that Maddison is set to start on the left-wing for the Three Lions this afternoon which will be his first ever start for England.
Since making his international debut as a substitute against Montenegro three-and-a-half years ago, Maddison hasn’t managed to acquire any game time for England since, despite travelling with Gareth Southgate‘s squad to Qatar for the 2022 World Cup.
Newcastle fans will be watching on with interest tonight as he could be lining up alongside our very own Kieran Trippier. Southgate has also said that former Newcastle man Ivan Toney is ‘in his thoughts’ ahead of this afternoon’s match.
The Geordie faithful don’t need much more convincing on James Maddison and will be hoping the long, drawn-out saga reaches its conclusion in the summer. Although, now appearing on the international stage, it could bring more attention his way.
The Magpies already potentially face competition from Manchester City which complicates matters, so if he was to put in an outstanding performance for England, more clubs could come in for the Leicester playmaker.
Given how long Newcastle and Maddison have been linked, there’s a good chance that we already have the upper hand. We saw all the camaraderie between Maddison, Trippier, Nick Pope and Callum Wilson at the World Cup along with the interviews where he sheepishly dodged questions about an impending move to Newcastle.
I’m confident that Maddison will be a Newcastle player next season regardless of any other clubs coming to the fore. But, I was also confident that we’d sign him in January, so what do I know?