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Returning Maddison is the key piece in Postecoglou's puzzle
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Dan Fitch
James Maddison celebrates after the 3-2 win against Brentford
James Maddison celebrates after the 3-2 win against Brentford

James Maddison's return can only be good news for Tottenham. 

The midfielder hit the ground running in North London, instantly demonstrating that his £40million transfer fee was a bargain. 

A lengthy injury has kept the 27-year-old out of the team in recent months but he was restored to Ange Postecoglou's starting line-up for the 3-2 victory against Brentford on Wednesday. 

Ahead of Tottenham's visit to Everton today, we examine the impact Maddison is likely to have on the rest of their season. 

Maupay row

Maddison has been an unpopular figure with Brentford supporters since he scored a stunning long-range goal for Norwich in 2018 and celebrated in front of the Griffin Park fans. 

That was apparent when he made his Tottenham debut at the Bees' new stadium in August and his every touch was booed by their supporters. 

The playmaker was involved in more controversy in the reverse fixture on Wednesday night when Neal Maupay mocked his distinctive darts celebration after giving Brentford the lead. 

James Maddison is a key creative spark for Tottenham
James Maddison is a key creative spark for Tottenham

Tottenham fought back to win 3-2 and the playmaker later exchanged words with the opposition striker. 

Maddison revealed: "I just said to him, he hasn't scored enough goals of his own in the last few years to have his own celebration, so he had to copy mine. 

"Short story, ended well for us." 

Dream start

Maddison carries himself with a level of confidence that makes him an easy figure for rival fans and opposition players to single out.

But his form for Tottenham since joining from Leicester has been good enough to justify his assured nature. 

Starting with two assists in his debut against Brentford, Maddison's first 10 games for the Londoners saw him directly involved in nine goals. 

With three goals and six assists, the new signing was a key figure in Spurs being the surprise early leaders in the Premier League. 

Then came the now infamous 4-1 home defeat to Chelsea when everything fell apart, particularly for Maddison. 

A deltoid ligament injury would sideline him for three months, leaving Tottenham short of his creative influence in midfield. 

In Maddison's return against Brentford, the England international showed flashes of the ability that could secure Champions League qualification for Spurs. 

He was paired with Dejan Kuluseveski as dual attacking midfielders in the second half, contributing to his side scoring three quick goals against the stubborn Bees' defence. 

Natural fit

James Maddison seems perfect for Ange Postecoglou's Tottenham
James Maddison seems perfect for Ange Postecoglou's Tottenham

Tottenham are a club with a rich history of creative central midfielders with the likes of Danny Blanchflower, Glenn Hoddle and Paul Gascoigne having all graced White Hart Lane. 

Fitting into that mould, Maddison seemed a natural fit for Spurs and he has explained that he considered that to be the case. 

He said: "That was one of the reasons I wanted to go to Tottenham, purely because I could just see myself playing for Tottenham. 

"I'm not even 100% sure what I mean by that, so don't ask me. But I could just see myself in that team, in that kit, in that stadium. It just fitted well for me." 

Tottenham have lacked spark in midfield since Christian Eriksen left the club and Maddison has already proved himself capable of filling that void. 

With his confident nature, he also brings a bravado to the team that seems to perfectly fit Postecoglou's vision for Spurs.


Tottenham HotspurPremier LeagueJames Maddison
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