JAMES MADDISON admits that claims he "wouldn't be a good traveller" with England are "insulting".
The Leicester star was in sparkling form last night as his side battered Nottingham Forest 4-0 at the King Power Stadium.
Maddison, 25, grabbed two goals and an assist – with a stunning free-kick the pick of the bunch.
After the match, the attacking midfielder joined Sky Sports pundits Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher to discuss his performance – and why he has not added to his one England cap earned in 2019.
Neville, 47, asked: "You've done loads of interviews with us over the last couple of years, you're a bubbly personality, great character…
"But you must be really disappointed and hurt by some of the suggestions that you wouldn't be a good traveller if you were in the team, and you would be 18th, 19th man.
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"Does that get to you a little bit? And how do you answer that?"
Maddison replied: "Yeah well I've never seen anything like that but that's almost questioning my personality and professionalism which is obviously quite insulting.
"I'm not sure… I've never seen anything like that…"
Carragher then cut across Maddison's answer, joking: "It was just him (Neville), James!"
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This drew a laugh from the Foxes star, as well as presenter Dave Jones – with Neville sheepishly responding: "I'm just willing to ask the difficult questions James!
"These two aren't, you know what I mean?"
Further quizzed about a potential Three Lions return, Maddison vowed: "It is hard to answer because you want to say the right thing and not the wrong thing, but that is an ambition of mine, a goal of mine.
"I am a football man, I watch international football and an opportunity at that level is something I desire and one I know I would have an impact at and one I hope will come my way at some point."
He then added: "I will keep working hard, I have got to have the mindset of forcing my way in because those players at the big clubs are in at the minute and they are top players, but I think there could be a space for me.
"So I will keep working hard and producing performances like that tonight and see where it leads me."
I think it is only Harry Kane who has been involved in more goals among English players
His boss Brendan Rodgers gave him a glowing review, gushing: "It is such a shame I think for the country and for the boy himself. You see his talent and his performance level for the last 18 months is clear.
"I think it is only Harry Kane who has been involved in more goals among English players.
"To not even been in the squad, and I think to have a player even if he is not going to start but a player of that quality… and not only that, in international football it is the personality to take the ball and be creative to change the game.
"James is all of that. He is an absolutely brilliant player and I really hope over the next few months he can continue the form he has shown for the past 18 months and can somehow get into the team because if you want creativity, personality, he has improved the defensive side of his game, he can play in a couple of positions and for me, he is an absolutely outstanding player.
"He is up there, and I love Phil Foden, Mason Mount, those boys that play there. Jack Grealish is different as he is more from the side. But Madders can play in a number of positions to a high level. He showed that tonight."
Maddison's Leicester contract is set to expire in June 2024, although the Foxes are believed to possess an option to extend the deal by a further 12 months.
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His five goals and two assists in seven Prem games this term has attracted plenty of interest – with Newcastle especially keen having had bids worth £40million and £45m turned down in the summer.
The Toon are expected to launch a third offer in January – particularly if Leicester decide to drop their asking price.
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