James Maddison admits he was left starstruck as he sat next to Mohamed Salah with his equally amazed mum at last month’s PFA awards ceremony.
Besides seeing Salah pick up the PFA Player of the Year award, the Norwich starlet earned deserved recognition himself as part of the Championship Team of the Year.
The 21-year-old has flourished in England’s second tier this season and consequently surfaced as one of the young prospects attracting Premier League attention.
Liverpool have emerged as leading contenders for Maddison’s signature, teasing arguably his mum’s dream transfer for her son.
Reflecting on being in Salah’s presence, Maddison told the Guardian’s Ben Fisher: “We had Mo Salah on the table next to us.”
“I took my mum, a big Liverpool fan, with me and she was in awe of him, as was I to be honest.”
“I was like: ‘Wow, there’s Mo Salah, there’s Marcos Alonso and David de Gea and all these Premier League footballers.’ But my dad said to me: ‘You’re here for a reason, you deserve to be here,’ being in the Championship team of the season.”
Maddison has endured strikingly contrasting seasons with the Canaries, performing as one of the Championships stars under Daniel Farke having been sent out on loan to Aberdeen under Alex Neil the year before.
His talismanic role is typified by the 14 goals and eight assists he has registered in the league this campaign, many of which have proven to be match-winning contributions.
Norwich have already slapped a £30million price-tag on their prized asset, who now finds himself linked with a future not only sitting alongside Salah but also playing alongside him.