Harry Maguire has always been an early name in Gareth Southgate’s side. In the last two major tournaments – World Cup 2018 and Euro 2020 – the centre-back has played every minute of England’s knockout matches. His solid play earned him a place in the UEFA Championship squad last summer.
But things took a turn for the worse this fall. Maguire’s form dipped as Manchester United endured a difficult start to the season, opening 6-1 against Brighton and Brentford. Relegated to the squad, the 29-year-old has made just one Premier League appearance since September 4.
Maguire was not helped by the fact that United’s results improved with him on the bench. Nor was he helped by his performance in the Nations League matches in England at the end of September. He missed two goals for Germany in the 3-3 draw, including a missed penalty.
But amid much criticism, Southgate insisted on standing tall, and the decision paid off. Maguire played almost every minute of this tournament except for the last quarter of the win over Iran where illness forced him to forfeit. The only goals England conceded in this tournament were scored when Maguire was off the field in that match.
And after the group stage ended last week, Maguire’s center back partner John Stones paid his respects. When asked about Maguire’s performance in this tournament, Stones said: “Since the first match, he gave the best response. The three matches were great. It’s about restoring that partnership and we’ve done that so far. It’s time to continue building and improving. This is the great advantage.”
“I’ve asked a lot of questions about him, but I’ve played with someone in so many games for England, I’ve had so many moments with him and I know what he’s been through in his life. The club and that says a lot about him. I still believe in him and all his team mates believe in him. He was there Lots of noise but he tried to improve on it and started the tournament well.It’s a big asset for him.
(Photo: Getty Images)
“Extreme TV Passionate. Sassy Foodie. Typical Beer Maven. Friendly Internet Geek.”