Gareth Southgate admits ‘complicated decision’ over Harry Maguire’s England future
Posted by  badge Boss on Mar 28
Harry Maguire’s England future has come into question (Picture: Getty Images)

Gareth Southgate admits that he has been left with a ‘complicated decision’ to make over Harry Maguire’s England future, given his poor form for .

The Three Lions boss is loyal to players that have performed well for him, happy to choose players based on international form rather than club form.

Maguire is putting this philosophy to the test now, with his performances for Manchester United a long way from his best, but Southgate feeling that he wants to stick by the centre-back.

Southgate knows the quality of the 29-year-old, with Maguire a key figure in the runs to the World Cup 2018 semi-finals and Euro 2020 final, but he does admit that he cannot ignore club form and he has a complicated decision to make.

‘He got us to a semi-final and the European Championship final so there’s no doubt he’s more than capable of playing at the highest level,’ Southgate said.

‘He was very good for us in the autumn and the club are in a difficult moment. There could be any number of reasons for that. But 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.

‘We’ve obviously left some forward players out who haven’t been in good form. But there’s direct replacements, experienced replacements for those players. So as I say, it is a complicated decision.’

Southgate did prove that he had other options on Saturday when he started Marc Guehi, Conor Coady and Ben White in a back three in the 2-1 win over Switzerland, with Maguire left on the bench along with Tyrone Mings.

His admission of a ‘complicated decision’ also sounds a little more worrying for Maguire than when he was initially named in the squad for this international break.

‘I don’t think it ever crossed our minds not to select Harry Maguire for this squad, he’s been a key part of the starting XI that got us to a World Cup semi-final and a European Championship final,’ Southgate said at the press conference when the squad was announced.

Maguire has come in for criticism during Manchester United’s struggle for form (Picture: Getty Images)

‘I know the club are going through a difficult period, but you’ve got to look at who are our best players and the core of the team, and he’s in that group.

‘There’s no doubt in my mind that he’s one of our best centre-backs and form, in that sense, is temporary.

‘Harry is now over 40 caps, consistently strong performer for us, was over the autumn period as well. Hopefully he can continue that vein of form for us that he’s had over a long period of time.’

Maguire will likely be involved when England host Ivory Coast on Tuesday night.

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