James Maddison: The 22-year-old had an impressive first season at Leicester
James Maddison: The 22-year-old had an impressive first season at Leicester

James Maddison: Fans baffled as Leicester midfielder left out of England's UEFA Nations League squad

Fans were left baffled after Gareth Southgate did not name James Maddison in his England squad for the upcoming UEFA Nations League finals.

The Three Lions boss named a 27-man group ahead of this summer's inaugural finals in Portugal, although the squad will need to be cut down to 23 by May 27.

Unsurprisingly, there were no uncapped players in Southgate's selection, but there was a shock call-up for Nathan Redmond.

The Southampton man has been impressive since Ralph Hasenhuttl's arrival on the south coast, finishing the campaign with a tally of nine goals and six assists in 43 appearances as the Saints avoided relegation.

While Redmond's inclusion went down well with some, others were not so pleased to see Maddison miss out.

UEFA Nations League squad in full: Nathan Redmond the surprise name included by England

England manager Gareth Southgate
England manager Gareth Southgate

Leicester's James Maddison in action at Burnley
Leicester's James Maddison in action at Burnley in April

The Foxes attacker has had a stellar first season in the East Midlands, after joining from Norwich for a reported £20m fee last summer. The 22-year-old scored seven and assisted seven in 38 appearances and picked up the plaudits to help ease the loss of Riyad Mahrez to Man City.

According to Opta, he was: 'The only player to create 100 goalscoring chances in the Premier League this season & was the first English player to create 100+ in a single Premier League campaign since Leighton Baines in 2012-13 (116).'

What many fans will not realise, is England's Under-21s will also be in action this summer, at the European Championships in Italy.

While Maddison could have been just a squad player for the senior team in Portugal, he is expected to be named in Aidy Boothroyd's travelling U21s party and could play a key role as the Young Lions look to go better than 2017's semi-final appearance.

While this would be the logical explanation to Maddison's absence from Southgate's squad, many fans believe he warrants a place in the senior team over others.

Reaction to Maddison's omission

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