James Maddison has revealed a conversation with Ange Postecoglou over seeing a “different Tottenham team” convinced him to move to the club.
Maddison completed a £40million transfer to Spurs from Leicester on Wednesday, agreeing a five-year deal.
England international Maddison has gained plenty of admirers since joining Leicester in 2018 and Newcastle were among the clubs interested in his signature this summer, but it was a promise from new Tottenham manager Postecoglou which left a mark on the 26-year-old.
Ange Postecoglou made a big impression on Tottenham’s new signing (Steve Welsh/PA)
“I’m absolutely thrilled,” Maddison said in his first interview with club media.
“I feel I have a good understanding of Tottenham and now I’m a part of it, have this lovely white shirt on, and it feels brilliant. I am ready to go.
“Being a Spurs player now is something I’m very excited about. You come here and get a feel for the club, for the people.
“Speaking to the manager is very important. To have a decent chat with him and get his thoughts on how he sees Spurs going this season.
“He said, ‘whether you come or not, you’ll see a completely different Spurs team under me’, and it kind of stuck with me that he said that. It made me think that is the self belief I have in myself.
“I spoke to Daniel (Levy) as well and they both spoke very highly of everything about the club, about me and things like that are so important. Building a good relationship with him, with Daniel, speaking to other players.
“Obviously I know a lot of the lads anyway and have played against them for many years. Myself, my agent, my family, we’re all really happy with the decision and I can’t wait to get going.”
Spurs have been long-term admirers of the 26-year-old.
Tottenham have had their eye on James Maddison since his Coventry days (Clint Hughes/PA)
Ex-Tottenham boss David Pleat recommended Maddison to chairman Levy when the playmaker was still a teenager at Coventry, but no move was able to materialise and he instead joined Norwich.
Spurs’ interest and desire to eventually sign Maddison never waned with his time at Leicester only serving to highlight he was one of the most creative players in England.
During five largely successful years with the Foxes, who won the 2021 FA Cup, Maddison made 203 appearances, scored 55 goals and produced 41 assists.
Maddison’s creativity and versatility will boost a Spurs squad that has lacked a player in his mould since Christian Eriksen left in 2020.
Tottenham have struggled to replace Christian Eriksen (Peter Byrne/PA)
He added: “Christian was one of my favourite players when I was growing up, especially in the lower-leagues.
“When he was in hot form for Tottenham, wearing the iconic number 23, Eriksen was someone who would produce quality moments for this football club. To swap shirts with a player like that, of his ilk, was very special.”
While Maddison has made the move from the King Power Stadium to Tottenham, Harry Winks is set to go the other way, the PA news agency understands.
Spurs have agreed a £10m deal with Leicester for Winks, who spent the 2022-23 season on loan at Sampdoria.
Harry Winks is set to depart Tottenham (Nick Potts/PA)
Winks, 27, had been a regular at Tottenham under Mauricio Pochettino, but fell out of favour during the tenures of Jose Mourinho, Nuno Espirito Santo and Antonio Conte.
Academy graduate Winks headed to Italy last summer in search of first-team football and his transfer to Leicester will not be announced until later this week, with his loan spell at Sampdoria not officially ending until Friday.
New boss Postecoglou is set to cast his eye over the rest of the squad – with Tottenham’s non-internationals reporting to Hotspur Way on Saturday – before any further decisions are made on outgoings.
Spurs’ focus has turned to bringing in reinforcements in central defence.
Tottenham have an interest in Bayer Leverkusen’s Edmond Tapsoba and Wolfsburg centre-back Micky van de Ven, but no approach has been made for either yet, PA understands.