England manager Gareth Southgate jumped into Manchester United captain Harry Maguire’s defence to explain his choice of the player.
Maguire has barely played for United after losing his place in the squad to Lisandro Martinez and Rafael Varane.
Southgate admits era He was risking his reputation by calling the 29-year-old after his decision drew public backlash and angry reactions.
However, Southgate pointed to Maguire’s impressive performance for England in a solid partnership with John Stones, which has helped the Three Lions take it to the next level.
The England boss said: “Look, he knows he’s at a big club, he’s a big transfer fee and he’s the captain of the club, so I think that’s why people are paying more attention to him.”
“Obviously, this is not an ideal situation [Maguire not playing]. You want your best players to play regularly so they are in good shape physically and mentally. “
He called Maguire one of England’s best players and the team’s most dominant centre-back in the air, as well as City’s Stones.
He praised the pair’s ability to absorb pressure when the team struggled with a lack of a central player with the ability to push the ball – something Maguire has been unable to do at the Red Devils.
With Stones suspended for England’s game against Italy tonight, Maguire is likely to start next to Tottenham’s Eric Dier, who has been a revelation for Spurs this season.
sports It was also reported that, contrary to his own statement that he would select players based on club form, Southgate was prioritizing Maguire because of his trust in the players.
Southgate made a bold statement of his support for the Manchester United defender, adding: “Maguire is an important player for us and it’s important to support our best players. Whatever my reputation, I’ll take it where to put it.”
There is no doubt that Maguire will play for his club in some capacity this season. While he may have relinquished his place as a starter, it would be a huge challenge if he replicated his England form for the 20-time champions and provided not only cover for Martinez and Varane, but much-needed competition. net positives.