Friday, September 29, 2023

James Maddison says he didn’t move to Tottenham for Harry Kane and looks to emulate Paul Gascoigne

Tottenham star James Maddison has insisted he did not sign for the club to play with Harry Kane.

Settling into life in north London has so far been a breeze for the 26-year-old, who admits it’s another Spurs legend he’s looking to emulate: Paul Gascoigne.

Maddison and Kane played together for Spurs during pre-seasonGetty

The club’s new no.10 is still proving effective without the England strikerGetty

Maddison completed a move from Leicester during the summer and has already proven key for his new club having scored two goals and assisted another two across his first five appearances.

Many expected him to link-up with Kane before the latter left Spurs for Bayern Munich and although such a partnership could have been world-class, Maddison says his decision to move was not influenced by the striker.

Speaking to The Sun, he said: “I wasn’t naive enough to go there thinking there wasn’t a chance Kane could leave Tottenham. I wasn’t going to Tottenham for Kane.

“I knew there was a chance Harry could leave but it wasn’t all doom and gloom. There was such a good feel with the new manager coming in and new players, and I didn’t feel any hangover from the previous managers.

“There were connotations around more negative, defensive football and I didn’t feel any hangover from that. Everyone was on a fresh slate and there was a really good energy and feel about the club.

“I think Harry’s the best no.9 in the world and I would have loved to have played with him for more than a couple of pre-season games. But Bayern’s a massive club and I wish Harry all the best.

“Harry’s probably the best player to ever play for Tottenham, he’s definitely up there as one of the greats. He’s cemented his legacy as a legend and had nothing left to prove.

“But we’ve got some brilliant players at Spurs. The front line and especially, we can be so fluid with how the manager wants us to play.”

Maddison appears to be right at home in north LondonGetty

Kane is Spurs’ all-time record scorer with 278 goals, but it’s Gascoigne who Maddison is looking to emulate at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

The former attacking midfielder made 96 appearances for the club and is an icon that Spurs’ marquee summer signing has watched since a young age.

“My dad used to put football video montages together. He is a graphic designer and is good with computers – and Gazza features a lot.

“Before you become a professional, you’re a fan and I loved players who had personality, players who had a bit of cheekiness about them, more than your bog-standard…

Maddison is a huge admirer of Gascoigne, one of Spurs’ most iconic players everGetty

“Gazza was a perfect example. I remember a clip where the cameras are going along during the national anthem and it gets to him and he sticks his tongue out and starts messing around with the camera and going all bog-eyed.

“I just love that. That’s why I like interacting with fans and showing my personality. I don’t know if you saw the clip of me moving the ball out from the corner with the Bournemouth fans – it’s stuff like that which I enjoy doing, that keeps me hungry.

“I like the theatre element of almost being the villain. That’s how I enjoyed watching it and that’s how I enjoy playing it. But it’s not a conscious thing to try and be the showman. That’s just how I am. I go for a roast dinner with my family and I like to be the main man.”

Maddison is on international duty with England and could be set to feature in their Euro 2024 qualifier against Ukraine on Saturday, live on talkSPORT.

The new talkSPORT match centre

Keep up-to-date with all the latest football fixtures, results and standings in our new match centre.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *