There's no doubt Harry Maguire is capable of playing at highest level, insists Gareth Southgate

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Southgate defends Maguire from criticism

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There's no doubt Harry Maguire is capable of playing at highest level, insists Gareth Southgate

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SportsCafe Desk

03/29/2022

England manager Gareth Southgate has claimed that Harry Maguire has helped them progress to a World Cup semi-final and a European Championship final and proclaimed that the English defender can play at the highest level. The Manchester United captain has been criticized for his shambolic displays.

Manchester United signed Harry Maguire in the summer of 2019 for a reported fee of £80 million making him the world's most expensive defender. In the same season, he was named as the new club captain by manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær following Ashley Young's departure to Inter Milan.  The English centre-back has made 138 appearances for the Red Devils so far while scoring seven goals across all competitions.

Maguire who enjoyed two stellar campaigns at the Manchester club has been in shocking form this season with the defender susceptible for many of the goals that United have conceded. The 29-year-old's dismal performance in United's 4-1 loss to Manchester City as well as their exit from the Champions League has increased the pressure on the defender. Despite his dire form for club, Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate insisted that he did not consider leaving him out of the squad.

"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. [Manchester United] are in a difficult moment - there could be many 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 told reporters in his press conference.

"We've obviously had some forward players out who haven't been in good form but there's direct, experienced replacements for those players, so it is a complicated decision. In terms of selection, that's always a difficult conundrum because we've got players who we know have performed well in an England shirt,” he added.

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