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James Maddison: Brendan Rodgers defends Leicester midfielder over Dubai night out

James Maddison (left) joined from Norwich for £24m in 2018

People are “trying to fit a narrative” around James Maddison, says Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers who defended the midfielder after images of his night out in Dubai were published.

The 23-year-old has previously been criticised for going to a casino the night England lost a Euro 2020 qualifier in October.

“It’s unfortunate,” said Rodgers.

“We’re supposedly in this world where everyone ‘cares’. Rubbish – the first thing they do is try to stitch you up.”

The Foxes are currently on their mid-season break, and Rodgers added: “It’s contradictory, it’s unbelievable. So there’s something framed around him which, OK, he’ll have to live with but that’s someone else’s narrative.

“This is a 23-year-old boy who is single, he’s been given a week free. We try to educate them in many ways, but this is something I’m not too bothered about.

“I can only judge him on my time here, nearly a year now, he’s been absolutely brilliant for me. And outside of the pitch, he’s been an absolute joy.

“A charming young man, really respectful. He really respects what he has here at Leicester.”

Maddison had been selected in England squads but had yet to play for the national side prior to the criticism over his visit to a casino. Despite the fallout he went on to win his first cap, during the 7-0 win over Montenegro in November.

The former Norwich player has been tipped to earn a spot in the Euro 2020 squad having scored nine goals this season to help Leicester to third spot in the Premier League.

Rodgers added: “There’s two different mindsets, a social mindset and a professional mindset. The top ones, professionally, have the mentality to do it every single day and look after themselves and then produce.

“Availability, staying fit, looking after yourself over numbers of years, that’s the difference.”

Article courtesy of BBC Sport
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