James Maddison withdraws from England squad for Euro 2020 qualifiers against Czech Republic and Bulgaria due to illness

JAMES MADDISON has been forced to withdraw from the England squad for their Euro 2020 qualifiers against Czech Republic and Bulgaria due to illness.

The in-form Leicester midfielder, 22, won't earn his first Three Lions cap this international break after falling ill.

James Maddison withdraws from England squad for Euro 2020 qualifiers against Czech Republic and Bulgaria due to illness2 James Maddison has withdrawn from the England squad through illnessCredit: Rex Features
James Maddison withdraws from England squad for Euro 2020 qualifiers against Czech Republic and Bulgaria due to illness2 Maddison had been hoping to make his senior debut for EnglandCredit: Rex Features

Maddison was expected to start at least one of the games, with Gareth Southgate deciding against calling up a replacement.

The nine-cap England Under-21s international was a shoo-in for the squad after a string of scintillating displays for high-flying Leicester this term.

He was named on the bench for wins over Bulgaria and Kosovo last month.

Maddison – who scored the winner against Tottenham – then claimed he wasn't "here to make up the numbers" after being given the nod by Southgate.

MADD HUNGRY

The playmaking star had said: "It's not easy to get an England cap. It's an honour to be in the squad, some big names have been left out.

"But I'm hungry to get some minutes. I have always wanted to play for England.

"I'm not naive enough to sit here and say I should be playing. If that opportunity does come I will be ready, more than ready.

"I'm not going banging on the manager's door saying I need to be playing because this is only my third squad.

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"I keep realistic, but keep hungry to get minutes because that's why I'm here. I'm not here to just make up the numbers."

England take on Czech Republic on Friday and Bulgaria on Monday – but will now do so a man down, with no replacement being called.

That leaves red-hot Mason Mount, Ross Barkley, Fabian Delph, Harry Winks and Declan Rice as the only midfield options after Dele Alli and Jesse Lingard were left out, owing to their poor form.

Injured goalkeeper Tom Heaton has already been replaced by Sheffield United stopper Dean Henderson.

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