Gary Neville issued a stern defence of Harry Maguire ahead of England’s 3-3 Nations League draw with Germany on Monday night.
Gary Neville said: “He [Southgate] supports Harry Maguire quite simply because he is one of the best two or three centre-backs in the country. We don’t have a strong pool of centre-backs. We used to have lots of goalkeepers, lots of centre-backs and we don’t have that anymore. So we see Eric Dier, John Stones, Harry Maguire, Tyrone Mings and a couple more but nothing that really stands out. Harry Maguire’s performances for England have been outstanding over a number of years and I can see why he is still selecting him.”
After the draw on Monday, Maguire came out to apologise for his performance.
Harry Maguire said “Mistakes are part of the game, I apologise.”
United teammate Luke Shaw – who scored England’s first goal of the night – came to Maguire’s defence post-match.
Luke Shaw said “Of course Harry is an amazing player, an amazing character. He has taken a lot of stick, probably more than I have ever seen before in football but he never hides away, he is always there. You can have people that can hide away and not want to be in the spotlight but he keeps putting himself in the spotlight and it shows the strength and character he has got because, come on, everyone knows that he is an unbelievable player.”
Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate faced criticism for selecting the Manchester United captain in both games despite being dropped by Erik ten Hag at Old Trafford. The 29-year-old has lost every Reds game he has started this season and hasn’t begun a league match since the 4-0 defeat to Brentford on August 13. Maguire had a disappointing display against Germany, being at fault for two goals. The centre-half lost the ball before fouling Jamal Musiala to give away a penalty for the first goal before being dispossessed while on a marauding run which led to their second. Pre-match, Gary Neville had described Maguire as among the best current English centre-backs, explaining that this was why Southgate continues to select him.
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