Brendan Rodgers has defended James Maddison and slammed the ‘narrative’ surrounding the Leicester midfielder following images of his partying in Dubai during the winter break.
Maddison was pictured enjoying the Dubai nightlife during the Foxes scheduled mid-season break this week, the images coming after the 23-year-old was criticised for visiting a casino after withdrawing from the England squad through illness earlier this season.
Leicester boss Rodgers has now defended the midfielder following criticism of his lifestyle, admitting he has no concerns over Maddison’s priorities and describing the perceptions of the England international as ‘unbelievable’.
“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,” Rodgers told the media.
“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.
“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 – who has strongly been linked with a move to Manchester United – has been amongst Leicester’s star players this season during their run into the top four, scoring six goals and providing a further three assists for Rodgers’ third-placed side.
The club will hope to continue their push to secure Champions League qualification when they return to Premier League action this weekend, travelling to face top four rivals Wolves at Molineux tomorrow night.