Noni Madueke met up with England U21s this week determined to build on his bold decision to quit Spurs and head to PSV Eindhoven to get first team football as a teenager
Noni Madueke is convinced going Dutch as a teenager will fast-track his route to the England team.
PSV Eindhoven’s goal-scoring midfielder is a Super Cup winner and currently top of the Eredivisie, and wants to prove himself “one of the best players” in league this term.
Aged 16, he walked away from Spurs’ age group sides, and turned down Manchester United, because he wanted to play in “man football” at first team level.
At 17, he broke into PSV’s first team in January last year, scored seven last season, and netted twice in August against Ajax. He’s racked up 50 appearances and 19 goals.
During the transfer window he signed a new four year deal at PSV, despite top flight interest, and arrived at the England U21 camp this week ready to be a “main player”.
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The Barnet-born 19-year-old said: “At 16 year old I felt I was ready for a first team. I backed myself 100percent. I am very impatient!
“The quicker you get young talents into first team football the quicker they get ahead of the talent of other nations.
“At PSV I am important for my team, scoring goals, and doing my job as an attacker. It’s been a good start for us, we are first in the league at the moment, with the downside of not qualifying for the Champions League.
“I have high expectations of myself. I feel I can be one of the best players in the league and that’s what I want to do.
“Holland is nice. It is quieter than London. It minimises distractions being away, and the focus is on football.
“In terms of signing a new deal I feel comfortable committing my future to PSV at this point. I am playing happy.”
Asked if there was interest from the likes of Man U, the club he supports, and Spurs, he said: “Yeah when you are doing well there is always interest. It is best to stay at PSV this summer. It is the right decision.
“The Premier League is the best league in the world and every young English player wants to be there.
“But also I am not someone who is afraid to venture elsewhere so whatever is best for my development, whichever country, I am a person who won’t be scared to take the leap.”
Madueke’s hero is Cristiano Ronaldo, and talking on England U21 duty at the St George’s Park this week, shows a steely dedication to his profession.
He added: “I have the drive to be the best. I am never satisfied if I am not. I am the type to get angry if I am not. That is how I am.
“It is a competitive edge. To be a great player you have to have it.
“Ronaldo epitomises it. I grew up a Man United fan. What he did was inspiring and to be still doing it now is testament to how hard he works.
“He is the biggest inspiration for someone who is confident but backs it up on the pitch every time he steps out.
“All my idols, people like Neymar, Ronaldo, Messi and the new generation guys like Mbappe, they all play with a confident arrogance. That is something I like and try to implement in my game as well.”