Maddison left stunned by ‘fantastic’ Tottenham signing who he ‘never heard of’

    James Maddison has revealed he told Micky van de Ven he had ‘never heard’ of him prior to his switch to Tottenham.

    Spurs signed the centre-back from Wolfsburg last summer in a deal that could rise to £43million, one that could prove to be a bargain.


    Van de Ven has been a rising star at Spurs this seasonCredit: Getty

    Despite a lengthy spell out due to a hamstring injury, Van de Ven has emerged as one of the Premier League’s best defenders.

    And it seems as though Maddison, who also moved to the north London giants in 2023, was left astonished by how good he is considering he was unfamiliar with the Dutchman beforehand.

    The Spurs midfielder kindly spoke to talkSPORT at his Maddison Invitational charity golf day at the Centurion Golf Club in St Albans for Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice, who support children with life-limiting or life-threatening conditions and their families.

    When discussing Van de Ven on Drive with Andy Goldstein and Darren Bent, he said: “He’s rapid, he’s absolutely rapid.

    “I actually said to him as well when he came in, well not straightaway obviously, but after a little bit, when I realised how good he was and how fast.

    “I said, ‘You know I’d never heard of you?’ I would never say that at the start obviously, but once I realised he was a top player, I couldn’t believe we had signed this centre-back that I was seeing.

    “Because I was thinking, ‘Right well then, what’s his weakness?’ He’s good on the ball, he’s good in the air, he’s tall, he’s strong and he’s rapid.

    “And I’m thinking, ‘Where’s the weakness then?’ To be fair I’m still looking, and I don’t want to get too carried away with him because… but I kind of love him and want to as well.

    Maddison has been able to witness how good he is week in, week out


    Maddison has been able to witness how good he is week in, week outCredit: Getty
    Maddison sent Bent into laughter after he revealed he told the defender he didn't know who he was before


    Maddison sent Bent into laughter after he revealed he told the defender he didn’t know who he was beforeCredit: talkSPORT

    “He’s a top player and he’s a great lad as well, being a good person and a great lad in the changing room just makes you appreciate him as a player even more.

    “He’s a top lad and he’s been a fantastic signing for us.

    James Maddison’s hilarious reaction to being award the ‘biggest diva’ by his Tottenham teammates

    “Very disappointed that he had a big injury midway through the season because I think you would have been talking about someone who’s probably in the team of the year.

    “But listen, he’s back fit now and he looks really good and I’m sure he’ll be an asset to Holland this summer [at Euro 2024].”

    Van de Ven featured 27 times in his debut Premier League season and scored three goals as Spurs went on to finish fifth.

    He was also the fastest player in the English top-flight throughout the campaign as he set a top speed of 37.38km/h against Brentford.

    The 23-year-old has earned two caps with the Netherlands and has been selected in their provisional squad for Euro 2024.

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