Cristian Stellini admits to admiration of Leicester’s James Maddison

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Cristian Stellini has expressed his appreciation for Leicester’s James Maddison and revealed it is a view shared by others at Tottenham.

Spurs travel to King Power Stadium on Saturday eager to make up ground in the Champions League qualification race and Maddison being stopped will go a long way to beating the Foxes.

Maddison has scored eight goals for Leicester this season, but it has failed to stop them being involved in a relegation battle and they remain three points above 18th-placed Everton.

Talk surrounding the future of the England international continues to rumble under the surface with his terms at Leicester set to expire in 18 months and Tottenham’s interest in the 26-year-old dates back to his time at Coventry.

“We like Maddison like a player. He is an important player in this league,” Stellini admitted.

“A player with an important type of skill, like his delivery, his cross. His right foot is a very important foot so he shoots, he crosses, he takes the set-pieces.

“He is a player you have to take care of. When you play against this player, you have to be careful.

“When you feel how important is this type of skill, for sure you like this type of player. He’s a player with talent.

“At the moment he’s playing for Leicester, a team we play against. We take care of him like an opponent.”

He was also on target back in September when Leicester suffered a 6-2 thrashing at Tottenham.

Son Heung-min hit a 12-minute hat-trick but it failed to kick-start his campaign and he has scored only five more times in all competitions this season.

Assistant Stellini believes the Spurs attacker is getting closer to his best form, adding: “In the last three to four games, my perception is that Sonny played amazing games.

“Also when he didn’t score, he helped the team and I could show you games when Sonny was so important in the defensive situation and how it’s important with his capacity to run, to attack the space, to create space for the other players.

“It’s not only about scoring goals. My perception is this, I want Sonny to continue to play (like this) and then for a player like him, the goal will arrive and we are here to wait for that moment with him.

“Every striker wants to score every game but there are games and periods where you score more and every time you shoot, you reach the target and score. Sometimes you shoot a lot and are unlucky.

“For us, as coaches, it’s important what Sonny does for the team and when Sonny does score, we will like him like every time. But I repeat, he played amazing games.”

Tottenham will be without Hugo Lloris (knee), Cristian Romero (suspension) and Yves Bissouma (ankle) on Saturday but manager Antonio Conte will be part of the travelling party.

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