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‘I want to entertain’ – James Maddison sets sights on emulating Tottenham legend

James Maddison hopes to emulate Paul Gascoigne’s 1991 FA Cup-winning performance for Tottenham Hotspur by playing a ‘entertaining’ brand of soccer.

Following his high-profile transfer to north London, James Maddison has claimed he wants to follow in the footsteps of Paul Gascoigne, a legend of Tottenham Hotspur.

Early in the transfer season, Daniel Levy pounced to acquire the England international from freshly relegated Leicester City for £40 million. Paying a reasonable price for a guy with one year left on his contract who scored 10 goals and provided nine assists for a struggling Foxes team last season was a no-brainer.

After having an electrifying start to life in north London, Maddison is already well on his way to being a cult hero for the Spurs. Ange Postecoglou has had a successful debut as Tottenham manager, scoring two goals and dishing out as many assists in just four games.

Most significantly, after suffering through dreary stretches under Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte in recent years, fans are once again enjoying their football. The midfielder selected Spurs legend Gascoigne as the player he aspires to emulate while on England duty.

When discussing his move to Tottenham, Maddison remarked, “I could simply picture myself in that team, in that uniform, in that stadium. “It simply suited me beautifully. They’ve had that kind of player ever since. Gazza [Paul Gascoigne] and the type of midfielder who wants to be creative, engage the fans, and be a personality were my dad’s favorite players when I was growing up.

“I want to amuse. When you first start playing football as a child, you play for no specific reason. There is no politics or anything comparable.

“You play football because you enjoy doing it, and by doing the things you enjoy, as well as by doing things well, you develop into the player you are. And for me, that won’t ever change. That cannot be negotiated. I play that way.

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Ironically, Gascoigne once cited Maddison as his preferred English player. The 56-year-old veteran recognized as Tottenham’s talisman is one of the few young players who is not “frightened” to try.

He remarked, “I don’t know what these coaches are doing to our young players coming through,” in 2019. “I truly don’t, because there aren’t many players developing like Maddison.

“He wants to be proactive, he is inventive, and he challenges others. When I’ve been watching games, I’ve frequently observed him doing that for Leicester. Because there is so much pressure on players and managers to win the game, there are probably too many robots. They are afraid of losing.

“I always advise attempting new things because eventually they will succeed. Yet they are reluctant to try. They simply don’t include the desire to take someone on in the middle, which is a creative element. Just give it a try.

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