Gareth Southgate has aggressively backed Harry Maguire after naming him to England’s starting lineup against Italy.
Maguire was dropped by Manchester United due to a bad run of form, but he was nonetheless called up to the Three Lions squad for their Nations League matches against Italy and Germany.
Maguire told talkSPORT on losing a starting spot to United’s Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane, “I am all good, ready to play, I feel fit and fresh.” I don’t know what was said on my form because I don’t read about it.
“I felt pretty good coming off three positive games with England in the summer and a solid pre-season.” Obviously, the manager [Erik ten Hag] made the decision to leave me out for a game, and the squad has been winning ever since.
“I’m working hard on my training pitch to ensure that I’m ready when my opportunity comes.” That is the most I can do to assist the squad. I’m not concerned about what others are saying; I believe that if people can construct a story about me, as Manchester United’s captain, it will make major news.
“So, that’s why they do it; they want the clicks and stuff like that, but I went into the Euros after an eight-week injury, didn’t play a game, and made the tournament team.”
Under Southgate, Maguire has been one of England’s finest performers and an important member of a team that has reached the World Cup semi-finals and the European Championship finals in consecutive tournaments. Southgate defended the defender while stating that Maguire is being targeted.
England is relegated as a result of their defeat.
“Clearly, it’s not an ideal situation,” Gareth Southgate remarked before the game when asked about Harry Maguire’s club problems. You want your finest players to play on a regular basis so that they are both physically and mentally fit.
“However, he is a key player for us.” I believe it is critical to support our finest players. He was on the tournament team [Euro 2020], he’s a major player for us, and he’s very important.”
Both Harry Maguire and Gareth Southgate appear to place a high value on the title of Euro 2020 Team of the Tournament.
Maguire began at right-back alongside Eric Dier, who made his first international match since a 4-0 win over Iceland in November 2020.
England was relegated from their Nations League group after a 1-0 defeat in their final game before the start of their World Cup campaign in Qatar.