Puel backs Maddison to stay grounded after England call-up

Soccer Football - Premier League - Leicester City v Huddersfield Town - King Power Stadium, Leicester, Britain - September 22, 2018 Leicester City's James Maddison celebrates scoring their second goal REUTERS/Darren Staples EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.

(Reuters) – Leicester City’s James Maddison has the qualities to impress on the pitch and the personality to remain grounded off it, his manager Claude Puel said after the midfielder earned a maiden call-up to the England senior squad on Thursday.

Maddison, 21, was one of three new faces alongside Jadon Sancho and Mason Mount in England manager Gareth Southgate’s 25-man squad for the UEFA Nations League games away to Croatia and Spain on Oct. 12 and 15.

“He has the character to keep his feet on the ground, this is the most important thing. He has a good personality and it’s important he continues his mentality to improve,” Puel said ahead of Saturday’s Premier League game against Everton.

Maddison has scored three goals and assisted two more in seven league starts this season to catch Southgate’s eye.

“It’s a good reward… he has fantastic attributes and tough character at 21. He has a lot of maturity and is an intelligent player. We know his quality. He is a creative player and good on set pieces,” Puel added.

Midfielder Matty James, who has shaken off an Achilles injury but is not match fit, will miss Saturday’s game. Demarai Gray (ankle) will also miss out.

Leicester are eighth in the league with 12 points, three points and three places above Everton.

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