Leicester midfielder Maddison sits out England training

Leicester City midfielder James Maddison sat out England training in Al Wakrah on Thursday.

Maddison featured in Wednesday’s session — the squad’s first in Qatar —but was left out today as England manage his workload following the knee complaint which forced him off in Leicester’s win over West Ham at the weekend.

The Foxes playmaker was a surprise inclusion in coach Gareth Southgate’s 26-man squad, having not featured for his country since winning his only cap in 2019.

During his absence, there were suggestions that Southgate had concerns about Maddison’s character after he was pictured in a casino on the night of a qualifier against the Czech Republic, having withdrawn from the squad due to illness.

The England manager has played down those concerns and the casino incident, describing Maddison as “misunderstood”.

Asked about Southgate’s comments, Maddison said: “Anyone who knows me and anyone within football knows the type of person that I am, how I am as a person and a player. I always try to carry myself with respect, be very professional. If by misunderstood you mean the people outside of my life, then I think that’s what he [Southgate] is talking about. I don’t feel like I’m misunderstood.”