James Maddison has returned to Tottenham Hotspur first team training! Rejoice! Nearly three months after injuring his ankle in that disastrous loss against Chelsea, Spurs’ attacking midfield maestro has reportedly been in full training since the start of last week and is expected to make his highly anticipated return to match action in Friday’s home FA Cup tie against Manchester City.
According to Jack Pitt-Brooke in The Athletic, Madders even stayed behind last week to work on his fitness while his teammates jetted off for a short vacation during Tottenham’s week off.
James Maddison is back in training and could make his return against City on Friday. Piece on why this has been the most frustrating lay-off of his career, and the hole he left, having settled in so fast at Spurs.https://t.co/PuALPzfsHP— Jack Pitt-Brooke (@JackPittBrooke) January 24, 2024
Pitt-Brooke writes about how devastating the injury was for Maddison — it was his longest injury to date and came at a time when he was playing some of the best football of his career. Now is the perfect time for him to return to the side, as Spurs desperately need him. With leading scorer (and City-slayer) Son Heung-Min away at the Asian Cup and Giovani Lo Celso still not back from an injury of his own, Spurs are somewhat bereft of creativity in midfield. As he showed during Tottenham’s hot start to the Premier League season, Maddison brings that in spades.
It’s not clear exactly in what capacity Maddison will participate in the City cup tie on Friday. Ange Postecoglou isn’t exactly reticent about throwing players just back from injury right into the fire — he’s done that several times already. So it’s quite possible we’ll see Maddison in the starting XI, even if he doesn’t last the full 90 minutes.
But I’d expect to see him because he’s needed. Spurs might be Manchester City’s bogey team — they still have yet to score a goal in Tottenham’s new ground — but streaks are made to be broken and this is definitely not a match that Spurs should be looking past. That said, if Maddison and Tottenham can get past Manchester City and into the next round of the FA Cup, you’d have to think they’d be considered one of the favorites to win it all.