Brendan Rodgers leaps to James Maddison’s defence following criticism of Leicester star for partying in Dubai

Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers believes critics are trying to ‘fit a narrative’ around James Maddison.

The midfielder was criticised after being pictured partying in Dubai during the winter break ahead of the Foxes’ return to action at Wolves on Friday.

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Maddison has come under fire due to his party lifestyle during the winter break
Getty Images – Getty

Maddison had been previously criticised for going to a casino the night England lost a Euro 2020 qualifier to the Czech Republic last October after leaving the Three Lions squad due to illness.

But Rodgers insisted the outside perception of the 23-year-old and the reality are totally different.

He said: “People want to fit a narrative around him so I don’t worry so much about that side. I know the reality of what he is and what he gives.

“It’s unfortunate. We’re supposedly in this great world now where everyone ‘cares’, this wonderful atmosphere where everyone wants to look after you. It’s rubbish because the first thing people do is try and stitch you up.

“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.

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Rodgers has leapt to the defence of his player
Getty Images – Getty

“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 has scored nine goals for Leicester, who sit third in the Premier League, this season having joined from Norwich for £24million in 2018.

He has broken into the England setup and made his senior debut in the 7-0 win over Montenegro last year.

Rodgers added: “He is a talent, what we try to educate off the pitch is to focus every day on training, and how important training is. It’s not just about the talent, you have to work at your talent.

“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.”


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