Football News

‘I would be gutted’ – Rio Ferdinand makes James Maddison claim following Harry Kane departure

By Mohamed Moallim

Published: 16:00, 16 August 2023

Rio Ferdinand believes James Maddison will be having second thoughts about joining Tottenham following the departure of Harry Kane.

The 26-year-old England midfielder was Spurs’ most high-profile acquisition this summer after relocating from relegated Leicester City for a reported £40m.

Maddison started in their Premier League opener at Brentford, creating both Tottenham goals as they were held to a 2-2 draw. However, days before making his debut Kane completed a much-anticipated move to Bayern Munich, meaning the pair never played an official club match together.

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The loss of Spurs’ all-time leading scorer comes as a blow and Ferdinand expressed sympathy for Maddison who must have been looking forward to combining with Kane.

“I would be absolutely gutted if I was him, if I was James Maddison,” he told his official YouTube channel.

“I’m going to top the assists table. I’m going to be playing alongside the England captain. And now Harry Kane’s done a runner.

“He was probably promised on his way in, I reckon that would have been one of his questions, ‘are we going to keep the squad together? Are we keeping Kane? Are we keeping Son?'”


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Following the conclusion of matchday one Maddison leads the race to be crowned this season’s ‘assist king’. Spurs new No.10 was the only player to provide multiple assists on the opening weekend, and also topped the charts for Expected Assists and Passes into the Opposition Box.

Maddison is among those favoured to win the Playmaker Award, which is presented to whoever has provided the most assists at the end of the campaign. Officially introduced for the 2017/18 season, Kevin De Bruyne is the incumbent and record three-time winner.

When when considering the top assist provider for every Premier League season to date, the Belgian extends his lead to four seasons as the competition’s most prolific playmaker.

Harry Kane himself was the last English winner of the Playmaker Award, also winning the Golden Boot with 23 goals and 14 assists during the 2020/21 season. If Maddison can climb to the top of the leaderboard in spite of Kane’s absence, he would become the first English midfielder to win the award since Steven Gerrard in 2013/14.

The record for most assists provided in a single Premier League campaign is jointly-held by Thierry Henry and Kevin De Bruyne (20). The English record is held by Frank Lampard. Chelsea’s all-time top scorer provided 18 assists in José Mourinho’s first season in charge of the club (2004/05).

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