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Gareth Southgate cautions Harry Maguire about the Manchester United predicament, and England aspirations



Harry Maguire helped England to the World Cup quarter-finals last year and was nominated to Gareth Southgate’s team this week, but his long-term Three Lions career is jeopardized due to his problems at Manchester United.

Harry Maguire’s failure to secure a starting spot at Manchester United may have an influence on his England future.

After slipping behind Rafael Varane and Lisandro Martinez in Erik ten Hag’s plans, Gareth Southgate has chosen Maguire to his side to face Italy and Ukraine. And England manager Gareth Southgate believes the 30-year-old can do his nation proud once more.

“We are where we were ahead of the World Cup – and it is not a great scenario,” Southgate conceded. The standard is Harry having two World Cup champions before of him in the (United) team. He handled it wonderfully in Qatar. His performances were outstanding.

“He was under a lot of pressure heading into those games since all eyes were on him, but he was without a doubt one of our greatest players in the tournament.”

With John Stones and Reece James both in the England squad after recovering from injuries at Manchester City and Chelsea, respectively, the England manager will have to tread carefully with three of his defenders.

“John is just recently back in the team at Man City, and Reece has had that with Chelsea and is still coming back from a long-term injury,” Southgate continued. We don’t know how much we can get out of each player and are always concerned with controlling it as best we can. It’s extremely complicated.”

Southgate is adamant that England is not to blame for James Maddison’s ongoing knee troubles at Leicester. Since returning to the King Power Stadium, the midfielder has been tormented by the concerns that prevented him from participating in the competition, but he has been nominated to the Three Lions side to face Italy and Ukraine.

England will assess Maddison’s health in the following days before deciding if he should fly to Naples for the first Euro qualifier against the defending champions.

“James missed a spell when he returned from the World Cup – and that was a little bit of a surprise since we believed he was in a good place when he left us,” Southgate claimed.

“We’ve been working closely with Leicester’s medical staff and over the previous several weeks our physicians have received a good picture of what his training regimen is.

“James isn’t able to practice as consistently as you’d want, but in the games he’s been in he’s had a terrific influence. We still wanted to choose him, but we realize we have to manage him carefully.”

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