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Gareth Southgate calls out Harry Maguire "agenda" after Man United captain's England call-up

Cain Smith

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Gareth Southgate calls out Harry Maguire "agenda" after Man United captain's England call-up

England manager Gareth Southgate has addressed the "agenda" against Manchester United captain Harry Maguire, who started for England against Italy on Friday evening.

The Three Lions manager chose his squad for the latest international fixtures and many English supporters were stunned at the inclusion of the United captain.

He has started in three games for his club this season and they have all ended in losses for Erik ten Hag's men.

Whilst this has not been solely down to the central defender, it has meant that he has lost his place in the team.

Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane has struck together a promising partnership at the heart of the defence at Old Trafford and Maguire's game-time looks like it will continue to be limited going forward.

Diogo Dalot, Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane celebrate against Leicester City. (Man Utd)
Diogo Dalot, Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane celebrate against Leicester City. (Man Utd)

However, his England manager has came to his defence. Southgate admitted that the defender has not played enough recently, but cites his previous performances with his country as a reason why he is with the squad.

"They are probably a bit undercooked in terms of the number of matches they've had," Southgate said when talking about Maguire, and others who have not been consistently playing for their clubs recently.

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"But, for some reason there's a big agenda with Harry Maguire and a big agenda against him.

"I've never known a player receive the sort of treatment that he has."

Maguire was booed at Wembley mid-way through last season during an England game against Ivory Coast.

His performances at club level have been at a worrying level for some time now, but he is yet to have that convert to the national team.

In fact, he's been an important player for England in recent years, which is why Southgate has put his trust in him.

"He's been a crucial part of us getting to a World Cup semi-final, he was named in the Team of the Tournament at the Euros," Southgate proclaimed.

Harry Maguire scored for England against Ukraine in the EURO 2020 quarter-finals | Credit: Alamy
Harry Maguire scored for England against Ukraine in the EURO 2020 quarter-finals | Credit: Alamy

"He knows what we think of him. He's been, across that period, our most important defender."

With the World Cup just months away, it could be a risky move for Maguire to continue starting for his country despite poor form and limited game-time at United.

However, on the other hand, a national team squad cannot be purely picked on form and Southgate has a group of players that he clearly trusts.

England were defeated once again by Italy as the gli Azzurri came away 1-0 victors.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: England, Harry Maguire, Manchester United, Gareth Southgate

Cain Smith
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