Harry Redknapp projects bright Tottenham future for James Maddison

Ahead of the North London Derby, former Tottenham Hotspur boss Harry Redknapp has heaped praise on James Maddison and backed him to “make a huge difference” at Spurs.

Writing in his column for The Sun ahead of the latest chapter of the North London derby, Harry Redknapp admits he remembers spotting the burgeoning talent of James Maddison before the Tottenham midfielder became the Premier League star he is now.

The former Tottenham boss also claimed Maddison is now the main man at Spurs. And, like former Spurs legends Glenn Hoddle, Paulo Gazzaniga, and Luka Modric, he is a real difference-maker.

“Last year, Spurs had workhorses in midfield, but they didn’t have a Maddison, someone who could get on the ball and make things happen and control a football match,” Redknapp writes.

“He’s the perfect fit. He’s come in and changed everything. The best Tottenham teams have always had a player like Maddison, going back to John White from the Double team. Glenn Hoddle, Gazza, and Modric — players who could make the difference.”

“When I was at Birmingham, Maddison played against us for Norwich at Carrow Road. I waited for him in the corridor. Delia Smith was there and I said: ‘It’s all right, I’m not tapping him up’ — we couldn’t afford him. But I told him: ‘You are different class, you should be playing at the top level.'”

“Maddison is a great talent and he’s now gone to a club where he’s a big fish. The manager has made him feel important and built the team around him. He’s the main man, he gets on the ball, he takes set pieces.”

Maddison opted to leave Leicester City after they suffered relegation to the Championship. The English midfielder was praised for his displays last term but could not prevent the Foxes from slipping into England’s second tier.

It was inevitable that the Englishman would leave for new pastures; it was just a matter of where he would end up. A number of clubs were linked, but he opted for North London, with Spurs ultimately pipping Newcastle United and Chelsea in the race to secure his services by paying around £40 million excluding add-ons.

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The Coventry-born ace already looks the real deal and is exactly what Spurs have been crying out for years. And he hasn’t disappointed, conjuring every bit of magic fans were hoping he would bring to the team, and for the price he has been purchased for, he has been a top capture for Ange Postecoglou’s side.

When Harry Kane left Tottenham, the challenge for the Australian head coach was always going to be whether or not his team could continue scoring goals at a similar rate.

While Maddison isn’t a centre-forward like Kane, he has still managed four goal contributions from five Premier League outings. It’s also worth noting that Tottenham didn’t operate with an attacking number 10 before Maddison’s arrival, and Postecoglou’s decision to do so is already paying dividends.

Although those early signs are promising, it’s crucial to perform well in these big matches and derbies, and this weekend’s clash against fierce rivals Arsenal would give Maddison another opportunity to establish himself as the new talisman for the Lilywhites. Spurs and Arsenal both have clutch performers in the squad in attacking areas, and it will be interesting to see who emerges on top.

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