Gareth Southgate has defended his decision to include Manchester United defender Harry Maguire in his England squad.
Maguire’s performances this season have come under criticism from fans of Manchester United, but Southgate believes he should still be playing for England.
“He has got us to a World Cup semi-final and a European Championship final so there’s no doubt he’s more than capable of playing at the highest level. He was very good for us in the autumn,” Southgate said, as reported by Sky Sports.
Southgate is showing his loyalty to those who have performed for him in the previous two tournaments. Maguire was a key figure in both the European Championship and the World Cup, and barely put a foot wrong in an England shirt.
“He was very good for us in the autumn. The club [Manchester United] are in a difficult moment – there could be any number of reasons for that – so that doesn’t mean that players can be poor for a couple of years and then still find their way in, and sometimes it depends on competition for positions,” Southgate added.
Jadon Sancho is a player that many have argued should have been in the squad. In the last few months Sancho has had an upturn in form, but Southgate believes others in his position are ahead of him.
Maguire is in a situation where not many in his position are standing out this season, especially compared to our forwards. Sancho is having to compete with Bukayo Saka, Phil Foden, and Emile Smith-Rowe, where as England don’t have a huge pool of defenders to pick from.