He’s come quite a way, hasn’t he? Coventry City has a knack of developing promising youthful talents, none more so than James Maddison of late.
Having come through the Sky Blues’ academy, Maddison made his first-team debut in the EFL Cup defeat to Cardiff City, early in the season of 2014. It was that campaign where he built up the number of outings for Coventry but after being sent off on Boxing Day and suffering a back injury, it was only at the back end of that season where he strung together a further six substitute appearances in the League.
It was the next campaign where he really developed his trade, though. The local lad started the season brightly with three assists in his first three games. Having impressed even more so over the festive period, Maddison signed for Norwich City and was loaned back to Coventry for the remainder of the season in which time he was developing well and will have learned a lot from the experienced Joe Cole who donned the Coventry shirt at that time.
Upon signing for Norwich, Maddison told the media that “as a young boy my dream was always to play in the Premier League.” Now, he would have to wait a little longer for that dream to come true as Norwich were relegated from the Premier League and in his opening season at the Canaries, he was loaned out to Aberdeen for the first half of the campaign.
It may not have been the ideal scenario for Maddison, but in some ways, it proved to be a blessing in disguise. Who knows if Maddison would have been able to make the grade in the Premier League at that time, or get the opportunities to do so with it being such a results-centric environment.
He excelled at Aberdeen, netting twice and assisting seven times in 14 games during a spell which will have been sure to mature him as a player. Maddison returned to Norwich to only make substitute appearances at the very back end of the season though.
Under Daniel Farke the following season, Maddison took his game to a new level in which time he netted 15 times and provided 11 assists in all competitions, that form earned him a spot in the Championship Team of the Season, Norwich’s Player of the Season and a move to Leicester City.
The reported £22m deal, rising to £24m meant that Coventry would benefit from a fee in excess of £2.2m resultant of a sell-on-clause placed in his deal when he signed for Norwich in 2016.
Maddison is now excelling at the Foxes, not only will his deal have helped Coventry’s financial state greatly, but it also gives the Sky Blues faithful another player to shout about as the club played a pivotal role in his development so far.
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