Tottenham Hotspur midfielder James Maddison says he used to be a big fan of Philippe Coutinho at Liverpool.

Maddison has been one of the early stars of the Premier League season, slipping seamlessly into Tottenham’s midfield.

Now, speaking to The Independent, the 26-year-old has highlighted the kind of players he likes to model his game on, with Coutinho getting a mention.

Philippe Coutinho
Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

“I love Wayne Rooney and in more recent times when I started to know a little more about football and we were in the academy and there was more of a realistic chance of becoming a footballer,” says Maddison.

“I loved Philippe Coutinho when he was at Liverpool and David Silva, who had 10 brilliant years at (Manchester) City. Christian Eriksen when he first came to Spurs.

“I would probably say Rooney was the big one in my childhood. I used to love Wazza.

“Again, he was someone who played with personality. He was a bit more feisty than me – a bit harder into a tackle – but his personality and the way he came through in the way he played. And that’s what I enjoy.”

Maddison hails Coutinho

Ever since Liverpool sold Coutinho in 2018, fans have been waiting for a replacement to come in.

But despite plenty of links to players like Maddison, and the failed pursuit of Nabil Fekir the summer after Coutinho left, none ever really came.

Maybe in time Maddison will prove to be the one that got away in that respect. The England international is certainly making a good case for that at Spurs so far.

James Maddison
Photo by Eddie Keogh – The FA/The FA via Getty Images

As for Coutinho himself, journalist Fabrizio Romano has reported that he’s on his way to play for Al Duhail in Qatar.

Having failed to kick on since joining Aston Villa in 2021, the 31-year-old’s career has faded into obscurity.

From a Liverpool point of view, his decline has been incredibly sad to see. Over five years at Anfield Coutinho wowed and dazzled his way into Reds fans hearts.

Like Maddison, we’ll always remember the little magician as he was then. His peak maybe wasn’t long enough, but what a player he was for Liverpool.

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