James Maddison initially had reservations about inheriting Tottenham’s No. 10 shirt from Harry Kane but has now come to terms with the situation.
The English playmaker completed a £40 million ($50 million) transfer from Leicester to Spurs during the summer of 2023.
He briefly shared the North London club with his Three Lions teammate Kane, who later made a high-profile move to Bayern Munich, one of the top clubs in the Bundesliga.
Maddison was initially assigned the No. 71 jersey during his early pre-season appearances, but he was not content with that choice.
Eventually, following Kane’s departure to Germany, the 26-year-old reluctantly accepted the No. 10 shirt as Tottenham aimed to maximise their revenue.
Madison has said of taking on an iconic jersey: “I didn’t want the number 10 shirt to become free, to be honest, because that meant one thing. So I was definitely not waiting for the number 10 shirt. We all got given pre-season numbers: me, Solomon Manor, the new signings, and Destiny Udogie. Then, when the time came—because there are ins and outs—it was changed. The club has to sell shirts.”
While Maddison did not actively pursue the No. 10 jersey at the Spurs, he is glad to once again wear it because he has the number tattooed on his arm and it holds a lot of significance for him.
He added: “I didn’t want Harry to leave but when he did leave and the number 10 shirt became free and the club asked me, then of course I wanted to wear it. It’s my favourite number. I’ve got it tattooed on me, I loved that number growing up as a kid so I was never going to say no.”
Maddison has wasted no time making his mark at Tottenham, contributing two goals and two assists in his first four Premier League outings, which have helped secure 10 points for the team.
He is also part of the England squad getting ready to take on Ukraine in a Euro 2024 qualifier and a friendly match against neighbouring Scotland at Hampden Park.