Along with Marcus Rashford and Luke Shaw, two other Manchester United players, Harry Maguire was selected for the England national team’s June European Qualifiers against Malta and North Macedonia. Rashford has had a wonderful season, scoring 28 goals for his side. Shaw has been impressive as well. On the other hand, Maguire has only started seven Premier League games this season after finding himself pushed down the lineup by Erik Ten Hag. Thus, Gareth Southgate’s decision to select him demonstrates his continued confidence in the defender. The Red Devils captain, though, has received a warning from Southgate that his inactivity at Old Trafford will eventually work against him. Find more about this news at GGBet casino.
Does Maguire continue playing for Manchester United?
“Inevitably, it’s not a situation that can continue forever,” Southgate spoke with the press.
“It’s like Kalvin Phillips. They are important players for us, and with Kalvin, we haven’t got many players who can play as that single pivot”.
“Of course, the longer that situation goes on, the more concerning it is, and we’ve got, in Marc Guehi, Lewis Dunk, Tyrone Mings, players who are playing well without the same experiences of European club football or international football.”
“But we’ve got to keep searching for competition in that area of the pitch.”
The statements made by Southgate raise the issue of whether Maguire should continue playing for Manchester United.
The former Leicester City player, who is 30 years old and should be at the height of his abilities, could have to find a new team if he wants to continue playing for his country. United is interested in acquiring a defender who could replace Maguire, with Kim Min-Jae being one of their top targets.
Gareth Southgate has acknowledged that remaining loyal to Harry Maguire will be challenging if the England defender continues to sit out games at Manchester United.
The Maguire incident was labeled “concerning” by England’s manager, who decided to bench Raheem Sterling for next month’s Euro 2024 qualifiers against North Macedonia and Malta. This season, the defender has essentially been demoted to fifth-choice center-back at United. Southgate, who also contested the terms of Ivan Toney’s eight-month suspension for violating the FA’s betting regulations, suggested that the 30-year-old’s place might depend on him leaving this summer. Maguire has been selected by Southgate time and time again, even when the defender has struggled at the club level. However, there is increasing competition in defense, as evidenced by the recalls of Tyrone Mings from Aston Villa and Lewis Dunk from Brighton after strong seasons. Southgate’s tone changed when discussing Maguire on Wednesday, acknowledging that the defender has only started three times for United since the March international break.
Southgate, who gave Crystal Palace midfielder Eberechi Eze his first call-up for his excellent play, acknowledged that it would not be ideal if his starting custodian, Jordan Pickford of Everton, played in the Championship the next season. Sam Johnstone of Palace and Aaron Ramsdale of Arsenal, who was chosen over Nick Pope of Newcastle, are Pickford’s rivals on this team.
From the 25-person roster, Sterling’s absence caught the most attention. After speaking with Southgate, it was decided that the Chelsea winger would not play because of his recent struggles with form and fitness. A break would be beneficial for Sterling, it was thought. Despite having several options in offensive midfield, Southgate insisted that Sterling is not in the proper physical condition to compete. Since sitting out England’s qualifiers against Italy and Ukraine in March due to a hamstring injury, the former Manchester City winger has missed just one game for Chelsea.
There will inevitably be concerns about whether Sterling, who was removed from England’s starting lineup at the World Cup, is a long-term component of Southgate’s ambitions. “I would always back him to respond strongly and to have the resilience to prove himself,” said Southgate.
Regarding Toney’s circumstance, Southgate used some stern comments. Even though the striker’s suspension expires five months before the start of the competition, he argued that he could still travel to Europe and questioned why he is not permitted to train with Brentford. Due to his current injury, Toney must practice by himself until September. Southgate believed that could harm his recovery, even though he had no issue with the duration of the suspension. “The ban is the ban,” Southgate said. “I think he accepted the punishment. What bothers me is we’ve got to look after people. He’s injured now – what does he do about getting fit? How do we give him some structure over the next few months so that he can develop himself or be a better person at the end of it?”
Toney’s absence helped Callum Wilson, as the Newcastle striker was chosen over Ollie Watkins of Villa. Eze, also qualified for Nigeria, has taken Mason Mount’s place in midfield due to Mount’s absence from Chelsea. The 24-year-old, who was in England’s preliminary Euro 2020 team before suffering a catastrophic Achilles injury, has six goals in his last eight Palace games.
When England travels to Malta on June 16 and hosts North Macedonia at Old Trafford three days later, Southgate will have the chance to try new things. Watching him employ Trent Alexander-Arnold after re-inviting the Liverpool right-back to the team will be fascinating. Alexander-Arnold, who has profited from Chelsea’s Reece James’ injury absence, has talked with Southgate about his new position switching between right-back and midfield for Liverpool.
The center-back has spent most of the season on the sidelines after Erik Ten Hag moved him below Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez in the starting lineup. Kalvin Phillips, who joined City from Leeds United in the summer, is also having trouble since Pep Guardiola only gives him intermittent appearances. Even though Maguire and Phillips were both selected for England’s team for the next European Qualifiers against North Macedonia and Malta, Southgate made it clear that changes at the club level are necessary before the pair can be called up for further international duty.