Gareth Southgate has shown great faith in misfiring Manchester United captain Harry Maguire and has no plans of dropping the defender ahead of the World Cup in Qatar despite his lack of game time at club level.
Harry Maguire has lost his place in the Manchester United starting XI with Erik Ten Hag favouring a centre-back partnership of Raphael Varane and new summer signing Lisandro Martinez to the club captain.
The Manchester United captain’s lack of playing time at club level led many to believe his place in the England national team was in danger, especially with the World Cup a few months away, but that is not the case with Gareth Southgate continuing to show belief in the centre-back.
He is one of the England coach’s trusted lieutenant boasting as one of the most-used players under Southgate, and speaking to the press, the England manager expressed his readiness to persist with the Manchester United man and willing to gamble his England future on the player.
“Clearly, it’s not an ideal situation,” he said.
“We’re only a few weeks on from pre-season so, physically, if they’ve had a few 90 minutes, that’s fine. Another seven to eight weeks, that does start to become more complicated.
“But he is an important player for us and it’s important to back our best players. Whatever reputation I have, I’m putting it on there.
“He is our most dominant aerial centre-back. Him and John [Stones] are incredible with the ball. The amount of pressure they have taken for the team in tournaments because we don’t always have that midfield pivot player who can progress the game – it means there is a huge amount more pressure on our centre-backs to use the ball well and those two are as good as any in world football at doing that.”