James Maddison has joined team training with England for the first time since the World Cup began, having missed the Three Lions' first two fixtures in Qatar due to a knee injury.

Three years after winning his only senior cap to date, Maddison claimed a place in Gareth Southgate's World Cup squad after enjoying a fine run of form with Leicester City.

Maddison's tally of 11 Premier League goal contributions this season (seven goals, four assists) is only bettered by four players – Erling Haaland (21), Harry Kane (13), Kevin De Bruyne and Ivan Toney (both 12).

However, the attacking midfielder sat out England's first two Group B games – a 6-2 win over Iran and a goalless draw with the United States – after sustaining a knee injury in Leicester's most recent match against West Ham.

As England began their preparations for Tuesday's meeting with Wales on Saturday, Maddison played a full part in group training for the first time since the team arrived in Qatar.

"Fourteen players are out for today's session in Al Wakrah, with those who started yesterday's game taking part in a recovery session," read a fitness update issued by England.

"James Maddison returns to training following his rehabilitation, while Jordan Henderson is working indoors on an individual programme."

England lead the way in Group B ahead of the final set of first-round fixtures, and they will qualify for the last 16 providing they avoid a four-goal defeat against Rob Page's team.

The Three Lions have never faced another British side at the World Cup, but they are unbeaten in three such games at the European Championships (W1 D1 v Scotland, W1 v Wales).

Newcastle United are reportedly preparing an improved offer to pry midfielder James Maddison away from Leicester City in January.

Maddison, 25, is away at the World Cup with England after a blistering start to the Premier League season saw him force his way back into the national set-up after three years in the wilderness.

After scoring a career-high 18 goals last season, Maddison has continued to show it was no fluke, bagging seven goals and four assists in 13 league fixtures this campaign.

Newcastle have been fond of the Foxes star for some time, having had two bids rejected in the range of £50million in the previous transfer window, but they are said to be discussing if they should "break their wage structure" to meet the demands.

 

TOP STORY – NEWCASTLE READY ANOTHER OFFENSIVE FOR LEICESTER'S MADDISON

According to Sky Sports, Maddison's contract demands have been a stumbling point for Newcastle in their pursuit, but the club are now willing to go above and beyond to secure their key target.

The report claims Leicester value Maddison at £60m, meaning the two sides are not far apart, and with just over 18 months remaining on his contract, his value will continue to fall the closer he gets to its conclusion.

Newcastle may face some competition, as GiveMeSport also believes Tottenham boss Antonio Conte is pushing to bring Maddison to north London.

 

ROUND-UP

- Sport is reporting Aston Villa are interested in a January move for Barcelona midfielder Franck Kessie, and hope they can land him for a fee around €14m after he arrived in Spain as a free agent in July.

- According to 90min, Chelsea have offered goalkeeper Edouard Mendy to Tottenham amid news they are looking to replace club captain Hugo Lloris.

- Juventus and Newcastle United are discussing a potential swap deal that would send Moise Kean back to the Premier League and Allan Saint-Maximin to Turin, per Juve Dipendenza.

- Calciomercato is reporting Inter have rekindled their interest in Borussia Monchengladbach's Marcus Thuram after their attempt to sign him 18 months ago was torpedoed by a knee injury at the 11th hour. 

- Arsenal have been joined by Monaco and Ajax in the chase of 21-year-old Palmeiras midfielder Danilo, who the club are reportedly willing to part ways with for €24m, per ESPN.

Newcastle United are reportedly preparing an improved offer to pry midfielder James Maddison away from Leicester City in January.

Maddison, 25, is away at the World Cup with England after a blistering start to the Premier League season saw him force his way back into the national set-up after three years in the wilderness.

After scoring a career-high 18 goals last season, Maddison has continued to show it was no fluke, bagging seven goals and four assists in 13 league fixtures this campaign.

Newcastle have been fond of the Foxes star for some time, having had two bids rejected in the range of £50million in the previous transfer window, but they are said to be discussing if they should "break their wage structure" to meet the demands.

 

TOP STORY – NEWCASTLE READY ANOTHER OFFENSIVE FOR LEICESTER'S MADDISON

According to Sky Sports, Maddison's contract demands have been a stumbling point for Newcastle in their pursuit, but the club are now willing to go above and beyond to secure their key target.

The report claims Leicester value Maddison at £60m, meaning the two sides are not far apart, and with just over 18 months remaining on his contract, his value will continue to fall the closer he gets to its conclusion.

Newcastle may face some competition, as GiveMeSport also believes Tottenham boss Antonio Conte is pushing to bring Maddison to north London.

 

ROUND-UP

- Sport is reporting Aston Villa are interested in a January move for Barcelona midfielder Franck Kessie, and hope they can land him for a fee around €14m after he arrived in Spain as a free agent in July.

- According to 90min, Chelsea have offered goalkeeper Edouard Mendy to Tottenham amid news they are looking to replace club captain Hugo Lloris.

- Juventus and Newcastle United are discussing a potential swap deal that would send Moise Kean back to the Premier League and Allan Saint-Maximin to Turin, per Juve Dipendenza.

- Calciomercato is reporting Inter have rekindled their interest in Borussia Monchengladbach's Marcus Thuram after their attempt to sign him 18 months ago was torpedoed by a knee injury at the 11th hour. 

- Arsenal have been joined by Monaco and Ajax in the chase of 21-year-old Palmeiras midfielder Danilo, who the club are reportedly willing to part ways with for €24m, per ESPN.

Kyle Walker will miss England's first World Cup group game against Iran on Monday, but says he will be "ready to go" after that.

The Manchester City defender has not featured for club or country since undergoing groin surgery six weeks ago, but was still selected in Gareth Southgate's 26-man squad for the tournament in Qatar.

England's first match against Iran comes too soon for Walker, but the 32-year-old feels he will be fit to play in the Three Lions' second group game against the United States on November 25.

"To represent your country at a tournament is a great achievement due to the circumstances leading up to it," Walker told ITV Football.

"Just because of the injury, it was an operation I had and it was touch a go.

"But it's full credit to the physios, getting me back fit and healthy. I was never worried, I have to believe in myself. I was confident, just about, making sure I prepared right on and off the field.

"If selected, then that's down to the manager, the first game is a bit too short, but from then onwards I'll be good and ready to go."

Walker trained for England on Wednesday alongside City team-mate Kalvin Phillips, who himself was an injury doubt for the tournament having undergone shoulder surgery in September.

James Maddison is expected to be available for the fixture with Iran, despite limping off in his final club match with Leicester City before joining up with England.

James Maddison will likely be available for England's World Cup opener against Iran following the Leicester City forward's injury scare against West Ham.

The Foxes forward earned a Three Lions recall last week as part of Gareth Southgate's 26-man party for Qatar 2022, three years on from his only cap.

But Maddison's long-awaited return to the fold looked to be in jeopardy after he departed early during his side's Premier League clash with the Hammers over the weekend.

He has since travelled to Qatar with the rest of the England squad, however, and has now allayed fears of a potential lay-off that could disrupt his tournament.

"The injury is OK," he stated. "We had a scan the day before we met up, and it was positive. I had a little problem in the lead up to the West Ham game.

"I wanted to play, I didn't want to not play because of the World Cup, that's not the sort of person I am. I wanted to show the focus was still there.

"I'll have to do a little bit of work with the physios here to get up to full speed [but] it shouldn't affect me playing in the first game. I'm hopeful I'll be fine."

Maddison was one of a few players Southgate revealed he called to inform they had been selected ahead of his squad announcement, wanting to assuage the Leicester man's concerns over any inclusion, though the 25-year-old initially did not answer.

"I was actually having a chatting with Brendan [Rodgers] in his office," he added. "He asked me if I'd had the call and I said no nothing yet.

"I went downstairs into the dressing room, and I'd missed a call off Gareth. The heart starts beating. I'd had his number saved still.

"I went up and called him back, and he gave me the good news, which was all a bit of a blur. After the call had ended it was a head on the wall moment, took a big deep breath, and then I called my parents."

James Maddison eased fears of him missing England's World Cup campaign after limping off in his final club game before joining up with the squad.

Despite only picking up one previous cap three years ago, Maddison's impressive form was enough to earn him a place in Gareth Southgate's squad for Qatar.

But that spot looked to be in serious peril when, in his final game for Leicester City ahead of the World Cup, Maddison limped off in the 25th minute having put the Foxes 1-0 up.

Clutching at his hamstring, there was immediate concern for the 25-year-old, but he alleviated those fears after the game.

"It should be fine," Maddison said as he left the London Stadium after the match with West Ham, which his side went on to win 2-0.

"Injury isn't too bad! A small problem that was causing a bit of soreness. Can't wait to meet up with the lads Monday," Maddison tweeted after the game.

Maddison's Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers confirmed that there should not be any problem with the midfielder's fitness for Qatar, telling reporters: "I’ve just spoken to the doctor, he said he’s fine.

"He just felt a little knock on the knee. We didn’t want to risk it for him or the team."

The news will come as a big relief to Maddison and Southgate with England's World Cup campaign scheduled to get underway against Iran on November 21.

James Maddison limped off injured in his final club game before joining up with England's squad for the World Cup in Qatar.

Thursday's announcement saw him included in Gareth Southgate's squad for the tournament having previously picked up just one cap, three years ago.

But after scoring a superb strike to put Leicester City 1-0 up away at West Ham, Maddison was then forced off through injury in the 25th minute, clutching at his hamstring.

The news will come as a big blow to Southgate, who said Maddison had "earned the right" to be included after registering the second most Premier League goal involvements among England players in 2022 behind Harry Kane.

With the Three Lions' opening group game against Iran just nine days away, Maddison faces a nervy wait to find out the extent of his injury.

If Maddison is ruled out, Southgate could call on Ivan Toney in his place, with the Brentford striker responding to missing out on Southgate's squad by scoring both of his team's goals in a shock 2-1 victory at Manchester City.

James Maddison has earned his place in England's World Cup squad by becoming "one of the best in the Premier League, his Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers believes.

Maddison was a surprise name in Gareth Southgate's 26-man squad announcement on Thursday, having made his first and only appearance for his country in November 2019.

His recent form for Leicester has won Southgate over though.

Since the start of last season, Maddison has been directly involved in 30 goals in the Premier League (18 goals, 12 assists), with only Harry Kane (38) recording more among English players.

Speaking at a press conference on Thursday, Leicester boss Rodgers described the moment Maddison found out he was heading to the World Cup. 

"He was delighted. He had a missed call from Gareth just before we went out to training," Rodgers revealed. "I said to him to go into my office to make the call privately. He obviously spoke to Gareth and came out with all the joy of the world, so it was great for him.

"It's wonderful news for James and his family and everyone here in Leicester. I'm delighted for Gareth from a coaching perspective to have that talent available at a great tournament. His level of consistency, work ethic and talent over these last few years has swung that decision.

"He's a fantastic player, one of the best in the Premier League. I'm really delighted for him."

Maddison was listed as a forward in England's squad along with Kane, Marcus Rashford, Phil Foden, Jack Grealish, Bukayo Saka, Raheem Sterling and Callum Wilson.

Rodgers believes his versatility will make him a valuable asset, outlining the skills he is likely to bring to Southgate's team if called upon during the tournament, which begins on November 20.

"Everyone talks about his favourite position, but James has played across the front line to a high level," he said. "He's plays for me on the right side. He still scores and creates goals. He makes runs like a top winger. One thing he can do above a lot of players is that he can see the forward pass. That's absolutely key.

"He plays forward quickly. A lot of midfield players can conserve the ball, but you need players to see the pass. He's a player whose view of the game is fantastic. England have players who have talent and James has a special talent that can unlock tight games and defences and he can score goals."

Gareth Southgate says James Maddison "earned the right" to be called up to England's squad for the World Cup in Qatar.

Maddison's 22 Premier League goal involvements in 2022 are the second most among England players behind Harry Kane's 32.

But despite his impressive form this year, Maddison was not called up for England's Nations League games in September and, having not featured for the national team since 2019, there was a debate over whether he should be included in the squad for Qatar.

Thursday's announcement confirmed his seat on the plane, and Southgate says the Leicester City man deserves it.

"He's playing really well. He's a good player, we've always said he's a good player. He's earned the right," the England boss said.

"We think he can give us something slightly different to the other attacking players that we've got.

"We like the fact he finds those pockets of space. He plays forward, not enough players play forward in this day and age.

"His set-play delivery is outstanding. He can score goals from distance, which against low-block defences is another attribute which is a little different from our other players."

Maddison has only collected one cap, and his three-year absence for the Three Lions came after he was spotted in a casino the same evening he said he was too unwell to play for England.

But Southgate says this was not the reason for his exile, explaining: "That was unfortunate from his perspective because it became a bigger issue than it was for me.

"You end up in the papers, nobody likes that. But for me, that wasn't the drama that it seemed to be for everyone else. He's always been up against some really good players in that area of the pitch."

One of those to miss out on the squad was Roma's Tammy Abraham, who has only managed three Serie A goals this term after scoring 17 last season.

Southgate cited that poor form as the reason for his exclusion, saying: "Tammy's had a poor run of scoring form at the wrong time, really.

"It's not a case where we are three or four weeks away from the finals and the first match, we're now 10 days. Form could be more important.

"We don't really know with any of the players. We're watching their club form, but we don't know where they are until we see them face-to-face on the training pitch."

When asked which players he had spoken to in order to deliver the good or bad news, Southgate added: "I did speak to James [Maddison] because I think this morning there was a lot of speculation that James wouldn't be with us.

"We'd decided a couple of weeks ago that we would, but we weren't obviously going to go and tell him then.

"My priority always on these days is the difficult conversations and sad news, and that is really tough. There's not many situations in football harder than that.

"But the nature of those conversations, good and bad, reminds you of how much it means to a player to go to a World Cup. So it is a great day, but for some of those, I've had to disappoint them."

Gareth Southgate has recalled James Maddison and Callum Wilson to his England squad for the World Cup, with Kyle Walker also featuring.

Maddison has been in superb form for Leicester City this season, though his only previous cap for the Three Lions came in November 2019.

Yet his six Premier League goals and four assists have persuaded Southgate to hand the playmaker a recall along with Newcastle United striker Wilson, though like Maddison the last of his caps came three years ago.

Wilson and Maddison join Phil Foden, Raheem Sterling, Jack Grealish, Marcus Rashford, Bukayo Sako and Harry Kane, the winner of the Golden Boot at the 2018 World Cup, as the forwards heading to Qatar.

There is no room however for Tammy Abraham, who scored 27 goals for Roma last season but has managed just four this term, while Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Jadon Sancho and Ivan Toney also miss out.

Brentford striker Toney was included in Southgate's squad for England's September internationals, yet has not made the cut for Qatar despite being the Premier League's highest-scoring English player this season after Kane.

In defence, Southgate has been able to call on Manchester City defender Walker, who has been recovering from a groin issue, though Chelsea duo Reece James and Ben Chilwell are unavailable due to injury.

Trent Alexander-Arnold, Kieran Trippier and Luke Shaw have been called up, though Fikayo Tomori – a Serie A champion with Milan – and Crystal Palace defender Marc Guehi have missed out.

Ben White's form for Arsenal has seen him named alongside Conor Coady, Eric Dier, John Stones and Harry Maguire, who has struggled for minutes at Manchester United under Erik ten Hag, though Southgate has stood by the 29-year-old.

Jude Bellingham's terrific season continues as he heads to his second major international tournament, while Kalvin Phillips has been selected after having surgery to fix a shoulder problem last month. 

Jordan Pickford was superb in England's run to the semi-finals in Russia and to their progression to the final at Euro 2020, with Nick Pope and Aaron Ramsdale also picked.

England squad:

Jordan Pickford (Everton), Nick Pope (Newcastle United), Aaron Ramsdale (Arsenal); Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Conor Coady (Everton), Eric Dier (Tottenham), Harry Maguire (Manchester United), Luke Shaw (Manchester United), John Stones (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Newcastle United), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Ben White (Arsenal); Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund), Conor Gallagher (Chelsea), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Mason Mount (Chelsea), Kalvin Phillips (Manchester City), Declan Rice (West Ham); Phil Foden (Manchester City), Jack Grealish (Manchester City), Harry Kane (Tottenham), James Maddison (Leicester City), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Raheem Sterling (Chelsea), Callum Wilson (Newcastle United).

North London giants Tottenham and Arsenal endured frustrating outings as the Premier League saw more twists and turns on an action-packed Sunday.

Spurs' Champions League hopes suffered a blow as they were edged out by Newcastle United in the day's headline clash, with goals from Callum Wilson and Miguel Almiron helping the visitors to a 2-1 win.

That result saw Eddie Howe's side climb into the top four, and there was another surprise at the summit as leaders Arsenal were pegged back by Southampton in a 1-1 draw.

At the bottom of the table, meanwhile, Fulham increased the pressure on Leeds United boss Jesse Marsch and Leicester City leapfrogged Wolves by trouncing them 4-0 at Molineux.

Here, Stats Perform picks through the most interesting facts to emerge from Sunday's action.  

Tottenham 1-2 Newcastle United: Magnificent Magpies go fourth

Tottenham approached Sunday's match having won eight consecutive league games on home soil, but Newcastle seized the initiative with an outstanding first-half display to end that run and move within two points of Antonio Conte's team.

Hugo Lloris' bizarre error allowed Wilson to put Newcastle ahead, with the France captain hitting the deck as the striker lobbed into an unguarded net from range.

Wilson's goal was his first in the Premier League from outside the penalty area since January 2019 (for Bournemouth v West Ham), and just the second of his 65 goals in the competition to come from more than 18 yards out.

Newcastle were two goals ahead within 10 minutes of that strike, with Almiron scoring his fifth goal in his last five Premier League outings – as many as he had netted in his previous 61. 

While Harry Kane pulled one back after the break, Newcastle held on to ensure they went fourth after 12 games of the season – this is the latest point at which they have occupied such a lofty position since April 2012, when they sat fourth after 35 matches of the campaign.

Southampton 1-1 Arsenal: Armstrong denies Gunners four-point lead

Arsenal went to St Mary's looking to re-establish a four-point lead over Manchester City at the summit, but saw their run of 27 Premier League games without a draw halted as they slipped up.

Granit Xhaka converted Ben White's cross to put Arsenal ahead – with four goals this season in all competitions, Xhaka is enjoying his joint-best goalscoring campaign with the Gunners, and he has scored in back-to-back games for the club for just the second time (also in September 2016).

However, Stuart Armstrong replied with his first goal in 21 league games as the Saints fought back – each of his last seven Premier League goals have now come at St Mary's.

Arsenal were unable to find a late winner, meaning they dropped points after opening the scoring in a Premier League game for the first time since New Year's Day (1-2 v City), ending their run of 18 straight wins when scoring first.

Wolves 0-4 Leicester City: Lethal Foxes leapfrog sorry hosts

At Molineux, Wolves' nightmare campaign continued as a clinical Leicester side ran out 4-0 winners despite recording just five shots to their hosts' 21.

Wolves have now lost five of their last six Premier League games, failing to score four times during that run, and are enduring their worst ever goalscoring start to a season in the competition with just five goals in 12 games. 

Leicester took the lead through an incredible effort from Youri Tielemans, who picked out the top-left corner to score the Foxes' seventh goal from outside the penalty area this season – the most of any side in the Premier League.

Harvey Barnes, Jamie Vardy and James Maddison then added some gloss to the scoreline, with the latter doing his hopes of an England call-up no harm with another fine display.

Maddison has amassed 28 goal contributions in the Premier League since the start of last season, a tally only bettered by Kane (37) among English players.

Leeds United 2-3 Fulham: Pressure builds on Marsch as Willian shines

Leeds joined Wolves in the bottom three after Fulham dealt them a fourth consecutive Premier League defeat at Elland Road, piling more pressure on beleaguered boss Marsch. 

Leeds have collected nine points from their 11 games this season, their fewest at this stage of a campaign since 2003-04 (eight), when they went on to be relegated from the Premier League. 

Meanwhile, Fulham have posted back-to-back Premier League wins for the first time since April 2019 under Scott Parker (a run of three), having failed to win consecutive matches at any point in their last top-flight season (in 2020-21).

Willian's 84th-minute strike ultimately proved decisive for Marco Silva's men, on the day the former Chelsea and Arsenal winger made his 264th Premier League appearance.

Among Brazilian players, only Manchester City great Fernandinho has appeared as often in the competition. 

Paris Saint-Germain are reportedly prepared to activate the €150million release clause in the contract of Milan forward Rafael Leao.

Leao, 23, has emerged as one of the top attacking players in the Serie A since arriving for €35million back in 2019, tallying a career-high 14 goals in all club competitions in the 2021-22 season before starting this campaign in blistering form.

The Portuguese star with 11 international caps has four goals and four assists from his first eight league games, as well as three assists from three Champions League fixtures, and it seems Paris Saint-Germain have seen enough to justify a substantial investment.

TOP STORY – PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN TO PULL THE TRIGGER ON MASSIVE LEAO RELEASE CLAUSE

French outlet Media Foot is reporting Paris Saint-Germain will return with bids for multiple big names they were unable to land in the past transfer window, and they could come in January.

The report mentions Paris Saint-Germain sporting director Luis Campos was responsible for bringing Leao to Lille in 2018, and as a result he has been monitoring the young talent for years.

With the futures of Lionel Messi and Neymar uncertain, Leao could represent the future of the club going forward, with Kylian Mbappe, and he is not the only big-money target mentioned in the report.

Paris Saint-Germain are said to also be returning with another offer to Inter for Milan Skriniar, and remain interested in Manchester City's Bernardo Silva.

ROUND-UP

– Sky Sports Germany is reporting Real Madrid have plans to replace Karim Benzema with City star Erling Haaland in 2024.

– According to The Independent, Manchester United are only going to make a move for one of Jude Bellingham or Frenkie de Jong, with the target yet to be decided.

– Liverpool's Naby Keita is a target for Barcelona, with the 27-year-old's contract set to expire at the end of this season.

– The Daily Mail is reporting Arsenal's Gabriel Martinelli is demanding his wages be tripled before he agrees to a new contract.

– According to The i, Newcastle United are preparing bids for Leicester City midfielder James Maddison and Bayer Leverkusen winger Moussa Diaby.

Sandwiched between two rounds of European fixtures, this weekend's Fantasy Football selections will be giving managers one serious headache.

The Premier League big boys look set to continue rotating their squads during a gruelling period, leaving plenty of guesswork for those of us on the outside.

That is not to mention a growing list of injuries and suspensions, which could force many to opt for their wildcard at this still-early stage of the campaign.

But fear not as, with the help of Opta data, Stats Perform has picked out four names we not only expect to start this weekend but also accrue some valuable points.

Emiliano Martinez (Nottingham Forest v Aston Villa)

Aston Villa's form has improved of late with two draws, including against Manchester City, and a victory in their past three league outings.

A large part of that has been down to becoming more stable at the back, with goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez helping his side to back-to-back clean sheets.

After keeping out Southampton and Leeds United, albeit with just two shots on target faced, he is seeking a third successive Premier League shutout for the first time since March.

Conor Coady (Everton v Manchester United)

Everton have looked to improve at the back this season and boast the best defensive record at this stage, having conceded seven goals across their opening eight matches.

Their new-found defensive resilience has coincided with the arrival of Conor Coady on loan from Wolves.

Coady was also on target in the win over Southampton last week, making him the fifth Premier League defender this term to score, assist and register a clean sheet.

James Maddison (Bournemouth v Leicester City)

Leicester City midfielder James Maddison caught the eye again with his double in the 4-0 win against Nottingham Forest, strengthening calls for him to be part of England's World Cup squad.

Maddison has been involved in 40 goals (25 goals, 15 assists) since the start of the 2020-21 campaign, a tally only Kevin De Bruyne (50) and Bruno Fernandes (48) can better.

He has five goals and two assists this season, accounting for 50 per cent of Leicester's goals – only Wolves winger Daniel Podence (67) and Manchester City striker Erling Haaland (59) have been involved in more of their side's goals.

Roberto Firmino (Arsenal v Liverpool)

In what has been a difficult campaign to date for Liverpool, the form of Roberto Firmino – who many predicted to depart Anfield – has been particularly surprising.

Not only has Firmino been Liverpool's best attacker with five goals and three assists, only Haaland (17) and De Bruyne (nine) have been involved in more in the division.

The Brazil international will look to continue that form on Sunday as he has scored more league goals (nine) and been involved in more (12) against Arsenal than any other side.

Alan Shearer expects Erling Haaland to break his record for the number of goals scored in a single Premier League season – should the Manchester City striker remain fit.

Having made a big impact during spells in Austria and Germany with Salzburg and Borussia Dortmund respectively, Haaland has already set a number of records at new club City.

The Norway international became the first player in Premier League history to score hat-tricks in three successive home matches with his latest treble against Manchester United on Sunday.

The 22-year old has 14 goals in his first eight appearances in the competition, which is just one fewer than City's top-scorer Kevin De Bruyne managed across the entirety of last season.

Haaland is averaging a goal every 48 minutes in the Premier League – the best rate of any player to have scored more than once in the competition's history.

One long-standing record which may now be in his sights is Shearer's return of 34 goals in the 1994-95 campaign, which matched the record set by Andy Cole the previous season.

While Haaland will have two games fewer to chase down that 34-goal tally, Shearer accepts his – and Cole's – record is now under threat.

"If he stays fit, he's breaking it," Shearer told the Premier League's official website after naming Haaland in his Team of the Week.

Shearer also selected James Maddison in that team after the midfielder scored twice in Leicester City's 4-0 win over Nottingham Forest on Monday.

Maddison has been directly involved in 26 Premier League goals since the start of last season, a tally only Harry Kane (34) can better among English players.

Newcastle United great Shearer suggested the 25-year-old should be part of Gareth Southgate's World Cup plans, having not featured for his country since November 2019.

"Are you watching Gareth Southgate?," asked Shearer, who scored a record 260 goals across his Premier League career.

James Maddison not going to the World Cup with England would be "a shame for the country", said Brendan Rodgers after the Leicester City midfielder scored another two goals on Monday.

Maddison's continued absence from Gareth Southgate's Three Lions squad has been the source of some contention.

The 25-year-old has earned only a single England cap, in November 2019, and appears to face an uphill battle to gain favour with Southgate before Qatar 2022 kicks off next month.

Yet Maddison has started the Premier League season in outstanding form. After scoring two and assisting another in Leicester's 4-0 win over fellow strugglers Nottingham Forest, he has seven goal involvements in seven appearances.

Going back to the start of the previous campaign, Southgate's captain Harry Kane is the only English player with more Premier League goals (24) or goal involvements (34) than Maddison (17 goals, 10 assists).

"It's such a shame for the country and for James himself," manager Rodgers told Sky Sports. "You see his talent, and his performance level for the last 18 months I think everybody is clear on.

"I think it's only Harry Kane who has created and scored more goals than him, so to not even be in the squad...

"Even if he's not going to start, to have a player of that quality and not only in that, in international football, to have the personality to take the ball, be creative, take the ball and change the game, James is all of that. He's an absolutely brilliant player.

"I really hope over these next few months he can continue the form he's shown for 18 months and somehow get into the team, because if you're wanting creativity, you're wanting personality – he's improved his defensive side of his game, and he can play in a couple of positions.

"For me, he's an absolutely outstanding player, and he's up there.

"I love Phil Foden, Mason Mount, those boys who play there – Jack Grealish is different, Jack plays from the side – but Madders can play in a number of positions to a high level, and he showed that tonight."

Maddison, who said suggestions he would not be a good character within the group if not starting were "insulting", added: "It's been a weird position for me.

"We [Leicester] have been bottom of the league, and results have not been going our way, but I've almost been as confident as I've ever been in my career.

"I don't remember over the last 12 months playing better than I have and feeling as well as I have.

"It's obviously hard to answer this question [on his England hopes], because you want to say the right thing, you don't want to say the wrong thing, but that's an ambition of mine, a goal of mine.

"I'm a football man, I watch all the games, I watch international football, and an opportunity at that level would be something I desire. I almost know I'd have an impact.

"It's one I hope will come my way at some point."

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