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Rooney highlights how this Man United star’s injury is a major concern for Southgate

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Rooney claims Manchester United skipper Harry Maguire injury a major concern for Gareth Southgate

Writing in his column in The Times (Subscription Required), Manchester United legend Wayne Rooney has underlined the importance of Harry Maguire to Gareth Southgate.

The Red Devils skipper is England’s ace defender and the backbone of Southgate’s defence. An automatic starter when fit, his current predicament would have given the Three Lions boss many sleepless nights.

Despite not having played for United since the 9th of May, Maguire was included in Southgate’s 33-man provisional squad. It would be fair to assume that the 28-year-old will make the final cut of 26 players travelling for the tournament.

Manchester United legend Wayne Rooney has underlined the importance of Harry Maguire to Gareth Southgate.
Maguire has not featured since the injury at Villa

Rooney believes England have an excellent chance at this year’s tournament. However, he believes a lot of it will depend on whether the likes of Maguire will be available.

“England have a good chance and will be very hard for any team to beat if they reach the last four, with the semi-finals and final at Wembley, but to succeed I think Harry Maguire and Jordan Henderson have to be fit.”

Alongside Liverpool skipper Jordan Henderson and Tottenham Hotspur ace Harry Kane, Maguire forms the spine of the current England squad. If Henderson is the leader in midfield, Maguire performs the same role at the back.

Manchester United legend Wayne Rooney has underlined the importance of Harry Maguire to Gareth Southgate.
Gareth Southgate cannot afford to lose Manchester United skipper Harry Maguire

Leadership and experience!

“Gareth needs them on the pitch.”

Rooney believes it is the experience and leadership the trio adds to the squad that lets the other players go express themselves. Having watched United crumble in Maguire’s absence, it is clear to see why.

“Every side has those leaders, those rocks, whom the rest depend on in a crisis.”

According to the Daily Mail, Maguire remains confident of regaining his fitness in time for the tournament. The Three Lions kick off their opening match against Croatia on June 13.

Jordan Henderson has been with Liverpool since 2011 (GETTY Images)
Jordan Henderson has already returned to action (GETTY Images)

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Even if Maguire returned to action, his lack of match fitness is a concern. Southgate’s final squad could have as many as six United stars. The likes of Marcus Rashford, Mason Greenwood, Dean Henderson, Jesse Lingard and Luke Shaw could all make the cut.

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