James Maddison has revealed there is an exclusive WhatsApp group behind the intriguing ‘A’ celebration used by several Premier League stars.
The Leicester midfielder is one of a number of players to perform the gesture, using both hands to create an A shape after scoring.
And he has explained how the signal is a nod to a group chat he shares with friends, which includes five other top-flight players.
Maddison’s former Foxes teammate Ben Chilwell is involved, as is Aston Villa trio John McGinn, Jack Grealish and loanee Ross Barkley, with Tottenham’s Dele Alli completing the Premier League contingent.
He made the revelation in an interview with ex-Hull midfielder David Meyler, who suggested the players involved should form a five-a-side team.
Adding of Chilwell – who swapped Leicester for Chelsea in the summer – Maddison told Premier League Uncut : “Obviously he was my best friend here and welcomed me into the club, I knew him through the England Under-21s and the England set-up anyway.
“You just have that one guy [at clubs] who’s like your best friend who you’ll have a coffee with, you’ll see outside of football and stuff and that was Chilly for me.
“We built up a great relationship on and off the pitch.”
While there is clearly a close bond between members of the group, there is no getting away from the fact that four of them are essentially vying for a place in the same international team.
Grealish was selected for England’s latest squad, thriving in Thursday’s win over Ireland, while Maddison, Alli and Barkley were all omitted again.
But despite not featuring in Gareth Southgate’s recent plans, Maddison insists he is focusing purely on doing well at club level in the hope of an eventual re-call.
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He said following the latest squad announcement: “I want to be in England squad, that’s what I dreamed of as a little boy.
“I’ve had a taste and I want more. I’m back fit now and I’m firing, getting the minutes in the legs.
“I can’t control whether I’m in the England squad, I don’t pick the team but I can only concentrate on Leicester – second [now top] in the Premier League, three wins from three in the Europa League so I’ll keep my form good for Leicester and hopefully the rest will take care of itself.”