“I’m a showman,” says Noni to Madhu Sky Sports. “I can easily lose players. I have my goal on the fast pitch. That’s how I describe myself. “
He can add confidence and has his reasons. The 20-year-old Londoner has had a huge success since leaving Tottenham for PSV almost three years ago – instead rejecting an alternative offer to move to Manchester United.
Maduke is back in England for his first professional game against English opponents when PSV face Leicester City in the Europa Conference League quarter-finals on Thursday. This is just the next experience for one of the brightest young talents in English football.
These events led him to move to Eindhoven first. Since making his debut two years ago, he has made more than 60 appearances for the 1988 European Cup winners. The rationale for his bold choice is clear.
“I’ve been in the first team environment since I was 17,” he says.
“I don’t think I could have experienced first-team football at this age in England. This is the main thing. I just liked the aura of the club. From the moment I came here, I liked the aura directly. It felt like the next step. “
The standout moment so far came in August when he scored twice in the Dutch Super Cup to beat Ajax 4-0. It was Man of the Match performance. “It simply came to our notice then. This is the first trophy I have won in my professional career. “
The first of many? There seems to be no doubt. Madhu has a still realism. He does not romanticize his travels abroad, but does not downplay the significance of a young man living in another country. He is doing what he has to do to succeed.
Asked if leaving home at such a young age was a challenge for him, he was clear. “Outside the pitch, not really. I think it would have been almost the same if I had been in England. It takes a little mind to move abroad at a young age. Other than that, it’s no different.
“It simply came to our notice then. There was a change of culture. But I am the one who is easy-going and can live anywhere so it was not so difficult. I live alone but I see my family often. Everyone speaks English so it’s pretty easy.
“It simply came to our notice then. It was a step towards my career so I just wanted to make the best of it. I wasn’t really worried about leaving London or anything like that. I just knew. I was attentive. I wanted to do it. “
His first season was spent with the development team, working under Ruud van Nistelrooy, honoring his craft under the former Manchester United striker. “He is a legend of the game so it is an honor and he is still a great finisher. He helped me a lot. ”
Success came last season when he was the third highest scorer for PSV at Eredivisie, scoring seven goals in just seven of the team’s 34 matches. The club’s experienced coach Roger Schmidt taught him another aspect of the game.
“He has helped me out of my possession, pushing and connecting with other players on the pitch so that I can get the ball back as soon as possible. Two years later, I’ve become a little more polished in my game. That is the difference now.
“When you come to the first team at the age of 18 you are a bit raw. I’m probably a much more determined player than I was two years ago. My biggest strength is still my speed and my dribbling but I will say that my last product is also good now. “
He named Cristiano Ronaldo as his childhood favorite and there are signs of this in his game. He shoots more often from inside the box than any other PSV player and completes more dribbles. No EredivC player can dribble much every 90 minutes.
Even then it hasn’t been straight since that day against Ajax. Madu has missed a lot of winter due to injury. “It was tough but now I have overcome it and I have been able to play in the second half of the season without any problems,” he said.
In particular, he watched two matches for the England U-21 team last month.
“It was fun. Two matches, two wins.
“It’s definitely been a progressive year.”
The chance to play with Mario Gotze – the winner of the 2014 World Cup final – was also a positive one, the pair made a good understanding. “We have a pretty young team so Mario must have been impressed with his experience.”
That could be against Leicester. Madwick’s father and brother will be at King Power Stadium, but – usually – the player has his own laser-like focus.
“It simply came to our notice then. I’m coming back home. This is my first match against the English team. It will be another experience but I see it as another game we have to win.
“Leicester are a good team. But so do we. ”
It has already been confirmed that PSV will be coached by Van Nistelrooy next season with Schmidt. Maduke hopes to succeed in his first senior coaching role.
“It will be interesting to see how he progresses. I think he will be fine. He is well-dressed. Everyone respects him for what he has achieved in the game so the players must take him. Strategically, he also has a good idea as a coach, so he’ll be fine.
It remains to be seen whether Madu will still be in PSV.
The Brendan Rodgers team is a Premier League club that has been linked with a move for him over the summer. It is time to return to England. “I definitely want to play there next.” He still does not know exactly when.
“Whether it’s this summer or whatever, for now, I’m focusing on the rest of the season. Playing there is definitely one of my ambitions. I kickstarted my career by playing a lot of games at a young age. I think I will be ready for any action. “
There is that confidence. He just needed a chance.
His next will be in Europe against Leicester on Thursday evening. Just another game. Another chance to take to the stage for this single-minded showman, Noni Maduke.