Saturday, 23 December 2017

Coventry City Advent Calendar - My 25 Favourite Players - Day 23 - James Maddison

Happy Christmas Eve Eve, as Phoebe from 'Friends' once poetically uttered, and this means two things, not only is it nearly Christmas Day, but the advent calendar is coming to a close. To some this is a great relief given the comment which was received on the forum yesterday, but it was heartwarming to hear so many people have been enjoying it. I shall forever leave clog up the internet as long as people don't crucify me. Today's instalment is a slight controversial one, his ability is undoubted, but the circumstances he left in anger most City fans to this day.

Sporadic appearances in the 13/14 season were his only snippets of first team football early on in his career, he only started to really make a name for himself right at the end of the following season. This was all capped off when he sealed our League One status on the final day with a late goal at Crawley putting the nail in the coffin. The Red Devils were relegated whilst we returned to our usual spot in 17th.

Tony Mowbray was so confident by his performances that he gave him the number 10 shirt ahead of some other stiff competition. It was a brave gamble, but by god did it pay off. Even with a 3 month injury starting off he still captured our hearts just before the transfer window. On Boxing Day 2015 he bagged his first goal at the Ricoh Arena in a 1-0 win over Port Vale, strengthening our promotion bid. Just 2 days later he managed to single handedly salvage us a point in the last minute away at Chesterfield with a great free kick.

Naturally, he was always going to be in high demand, all of the big clubs were rumoured to want his signature. Thankfully for us, Tony Mowbray was strongly opposed to him leaving, he'd just turned 19 after all so there was no need for him to move at this stage. Unfortunately we forgot about our horrendous owners, who had other ideas. 15 minutes after the deadline had shut we were dealt with the blow he'd been sold to Norwich for an undisclosed fee rumoured to be tuppence.

At the time I was absolutely fuming we'd let this happen, because in ways it did have a big factor to us not gaining promotion. I was angry for him for ditching us and it took me about a year to realise that it was almost definitely a good career move for him, so that's why he's made it onto the list, I've reached acceptance. Via a loan spell with Aberdeen, his career has massively blown up, he's been nothing short of sensational this season and he just turned 21 in November. Norwich are in for a struggle to keep him in January, and I believe we get 20% of any transfer fee he moves for. So fingers crossed.

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