Tottenham Hotspur star James Maddison has sung the praises of Declan Rice, explaining why he’d love the Arsenal man to make the switch across North London.
Both midfielders were on the move in the summer, as Maddison left relegated Leicester City for Tottenham in a £45million deal and Rice swapped West Ham United for Arsenal in a club-record £105m transfer. And the pair have had a huge impact on their respective clubs.
Maddison has helped Tottenham get over the loss of talisman Harry Kane, taking up the mantle as their main source of creativity. He has formed a devastating partnership with Son Heung-min in attack and notched three goals and five assists in his first 11 Premier League games of the season.
However, the playmaker will be out until the new year after injuring his ankle during the 4-1 defeat to Chelsea. And he has been sorely missed, with Tottenham picking up just one point from their last three league games without him.
Rice, meanwhile, has immediately established himself as a rock in the heart of the Arsenal midfield, having played in all but one of their 22 matches so far. His powerful dribbling and brilliant defensive positioning have helped elevate Arsenal to another level, and they currently sit two points clear of Liverpool at the top of the table.
Maddison and Rice are team-mates in the England setup, and it shows. During an interview with Ben Foster for Amazon Prime Video Sport, Maddison admitted he ‘hates’ that Rice is now at Arsenal, as well as lauding the 24-year-old’s ability.
“He’s got everything. He’s technically really good,” Spurs’ new star said. “He is a joke when it comes to low-cut passes. I think he’s a top, top player, I hate that he plays for Arsenal.”
It would be incredible to see Maddison and Rice play together at club level, as they are both extremely talented in their respective roles. But given the heated rivalry between Spurs and Arsenal, it is unlikely Rice will be moving to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium any time soon. Instead, fans will simply have to enjoy them playing together for England.
James Maddison praises Jude Bellingham too
Maddison also spoke about another one of his England team-mates, Jude Bellingham. The former Birmingham City man is shining at Real Madrid, having netted an incredible 15 goals in just 17 appearances so far. And he was crowned with the Golden Boy award in a ceremony on Monday.
“I think I’m his biggest fan, he just loves footy,” Maddison said. “I just had no doubt [that he’d be a success at Real Madrid], because of his mentality.
“He’s got a 30-year-old mentality of a Premier League veteran who’s played 600 league games. The way he carries himself and the way he speaks, it’s of the highest order.”