England boss Gareth Southgate admits difficulty in selecting Harry Maguire if his game time at club level remains low
After announcing the England squad for the June Euros Qualifiers, the Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate admitted that it would be difficult to continue picking Harry Maguire if does not play much football at the club level.
After a difficult last season, Maguire has not seen much game time at Manchester United under Erik ten Hag this time around.
If we look at the numbers, the former Leicester City defender has only played 1503 minutes of football in all competitions for the Red Devils this season. In the last few months, his role has been to come on late in games and see out the wins if that is the case.
With other England centre-backs doing well and playing regularly for their respective clubs, it might be tough for Maguire to keep getting selected. Southgate admits that and said this (h/t Guardian):
“Inevitably it’s not a situation that can continue for ever.
“Of course the longer that situation goes on the more concerning it is and we’ve got, in Marc Guéhi, Lewis Dunk, Tyrone Mings, players who are playing well without the same experiences of club European football or international football. But we’ve got to keep searching for competition in that area of the pitch.”
The concerning thing from Maguire’s viewpoint should be that even when Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez picked up injuries, ten Hag went with a partnership of Luke Shaw and Victor Lindelof in central defence.
So, the United boss would rather play a left-back there than give Maguire, a specialist in that position, a chance.
The 30-year-old’s current contract at Old Trafford expires in the summer of 2025 (Transfermarkt). For his career’s sake, it might be best that he leaves United this summer.
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The idea should be to move to a team whose style of play is synonymous with how Maguire operates at the back (deeper-line defences). With the Euros coming in 2024, the 30-year-old must play a lot of club games next season to have a chance of featuring in that tournament in Germany.