Major Tottenham boost as James Maddison targets Manchester City tie for comeback

James Maddison

James Maddison and Manor Solomon are aiming to give Ange Postecoglou a huge boost by proving their fitness in time for Tottenham Hotspur’s FA Cup fourth-round tie against Manchester City.

Postecoglou has been without a host of attacking players and Maddison has been missing since injuring his knee against Chelsea at the start of November.

Tottenham return to training on Monday, following their winter break, and Maddison is hoping to start work with the group, with the aim of making himself available for the City game next Friday.

The return of Maddison would be a huge fillip for Postecoglou and Tottenham, as the England international had been one of the Premier League’s outstanding performers ahead of his injury.

Maddison is also Tottenham’s vice-captain and with Son Heung-min away at the Asian Cup, the former Leicester City man would play an important leadership role within Postecoglou’s squad.

Although City are yet to win or score a goal at Tottenham’s £1 billion stadium, Postecoglou knows that his team face a huge challenge to progress in the FA Cup.

Solomon has been out since the end of September after injuring his knee in training and the winger has suffered a tough time following the terror attack in his native Israel and the subsequent conflict with Palestine.

Tottenham signed Solomon on a free transfer last summer, following an impressive spell at Fulham, and the 24-year-old had made six appearances before his injury. The club have offered him support throughout the distressing events in Israel, where he was allowed to return for a short time.

Spurs last week signed Timo Werner on loan for the rest of the season, but the returns of Maddison and Solomon will greatly increase Postecoglou’s attacking options and give him greater strength on the substitutes’ bench.

With central defenders Micky van de Ven and Cristian Romero fit again and Son, Yves Bissouma and Pape Matar Sarr due to return from international duty next month, Postecoglou will be confident that his side can enjoy a good second half of the season.

Postecoglou last week insisted that Tottenham were in the Premier League title race, but the Australian knows that he needs the likes of Maddison fit to remain in touch with the leaders.

Asked last week about Maddison’s fitness, Postecoglou said: “He’s getting closer. He hasn’t trained with the group yet. Obviously after Manchester United, we’ve got two weeks and I’ll be hoping between the two Manchester games he’s back training with the first team as long as there’s no setbacks in that two-week window.”

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