When motormouth Jeremy Clarkson took to Twitter to tell James Maddison to spend less time with his barber and more on his football, the Leicester midfielder’s withering comeback got 171,000 likes.
Maddison’s silky skills may have earned him a place in the England squad, but the 22-year-old turns decidedly spiky to any suggestion that he ever puts style ahead of substance.
Former BBC Top Gear presenter Clarkson certainly got short shrift, with Maddison reminding him of his own thinning head of hair.
And while the former Coventry and Norwich playmaker laughed off the exchange as he spoke about his elevation into the England squad, he turned deadly serious when addressing his commitment to get to the top.
“I used to watch Jeremy Clarkson on TV and he made a comment about my hair, so I just responded,” said Maddison.
“I wasn’t narked. It was just a light-hearted joke because I think my hair is all right. But my life is my football. If anything, I sometimes need to take a step away from the game.
“Then again, nobody, apart from my close friends, know me that well personally. I live and breathe football.
“(Leicester manager) Brendan Rodgers has to come and drag me off the training ground because I’ll still be out there at 1pm when training finishes at 11.30.
“If anyone wants to question whether I concentrate on football enough, I’ll just leave that out there.
“Like I said, I love the game. I love watching it, I love playing it, I love talking about it. Anyone who knows me knows that.
“It’s been like that since a young age – and it’s stood me in good stead and got me to where I am.”
Maddison has always been a young man in a hurry.
His career has been on an upward trajectory since he made his debut for home-town club Coventry at 17.
A £2.5million move to Norwich followed in February 2016 and, although he was immediately sent back to Coventry and then loaned out to Aberdeen, his eventual impact at Carrow Road brought a £20m move to the Premier League last summer.
Maddison’s form for Leicester has sparked speculation that both Manchester United and Tottenham are now trailing him.
“I want to play at the highest level my ability will allow me to,” Maddison went on.
“I like to think I’ve my head screwed on with the transfers I’ve made. I’ve played League One, in Scotland, the Championship and the Premier League. I worked my way up.”