The in-form Leicester and England wonderkid chats all about his rapid rise to the Prem and international football…
JAMES SAYS: “My path was different to a lot of Premier League players. I started out in the lower leagues instead of being in a big club’s academy. I started off at Coventry, went on loan to Aberdeen – where I played in a Scottish League Cup final v Celtic at Hampden Park in front of 50,000 – and I’ve played at Norwich.”
JAMES SAYS: “All the moves I’ve made have come after I’ve sat down with my family and agent and thought what was the best move. I’ve never rushed into something, never gone anywhere where I wasn’t 100% sure. I’ve always trusted my decision and gone with my gut feeling, and that was good for me.”
PREMIE LEAGUE DREAM!
JAMES SAYS: “I’m just a young lad who’s loving playing in the Prem! There’s no bigger stage than Old Trafford on the opening day of the new season. That was a dream I’ll never forget. Being called up by England is something I always dreamed of as a young boy as well – I’m not going to hide that!”
PREM v CHAMPIONSHIP!
JAMES SAYS: “The speed of the matches is a lot quicker! If you have a bad touch, the ball is taken off you whereas you might get away with it in the Championship. There are world-class keepers and defenders so it’s not as easy as the Championship, but the Premier League is where we all want to be!”
JAMES SAYS: “I’ve always believed in myself. One of my best attributes, if you chat to my coaches from when I was a young lad, is that I’ve always believed in my own ability and been confident. You have to play without fear! I went into our pre-season with the mindset of ‘Be fearless, go and show everyone what you can do!’”
JAMES SAYS: “The No.10 position is my favourite role. I’m a player who likes to play in between the lines and tries to break that midfield line, whether it’s when I receive a pass or go on my own, and show everyone what my game’s about.”
JAMES SAYS: “Gareth Southgate said to me, ‘Go and show what you’re about and why you are here’. I’ve worked hard this season and I want to show everyone why I deserve to be here. You just have to be yourself. If you act like the new kid or the young lad then I don’t think it will work.”
THE YOUNG LIONS!
JAMES SAYS: “You go and ask any of the under-21 players and their aspiration will be to get called up for the senior team. Marcus Rashford is the perfect example. He was given an opportunity and he took it and look at him now. He’s one of the main players in England’s senior set up!”