Gareth Southgate ready to put his reputation on the line for Manchester United centre-back Harry Maguire
England manager Gareth Southgate is ready to put his reputation on the line for Manchester United centre-back Harry Maguire. The Three Lions’ head coach has stated that he will back the team’s “best players”.
Southgate picked the 29-year-old for the latest England squad despite the fact that the defender has lost his place with the Old Trafford side. Erik ten Hag has preferred other options in the former Leicester City star’s stead.
Speaking via The Mirror, Southgate has backed Maguire and suggested that the 29-year-old was still one of the Three Lions’ best options in the backline. The English manager claims the United defender is essential to the national side.
“Whatever reputation I have I’m putting it on there. I think, look, you always have to back your judgement and we feel Harry is an important player.
“He is our most dominant aerial centre-back. He is an important player for us. I think it’s important to back our best players.”
Maguire made his debut for the England national team in 2017 against Lithuania in a World Cup qualification fixture. The 29-year-old played the full 90 minutes as the Three Lions won 1-0.
Since then, Maguire has been a constant fixture in the English side. The United centre-back played a major part in the Three Lions’ run to the World Cup semi-final in 2018. And the 29-year-old caught a lot of people’s eyes with his performances.
During Euro 2020. Maguire was once again the first name on the teamsheet for Southgate. The Three Lions made their way to the final but fell short against Italy at Wembley Stadium.
However, back then, Maguire played regularly at club level. Under Erik ten Hag, the 29-year-old has been relegated to the bench. The England international has been ousted by Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez in the backline.
When the French and Argentine defenders have started for United in the back-four, the Red Devils have won every single game they have played this season.
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Maguire has been an essential part of the last few major tournaments for England. And Southgate has stuck by the 29-year-old in thick and thin. However, will his club form affect his positioning in the national side? Only time will tell.