England defender Luke Shaw has backed teammate Harry Maguire to come through this tough period of his career after he continued his fall from grace with a poor performance against Germany in England’s Nations League finale.
Having only started three games for Manchester United this season, eyebrows were raised when Southgate opted to start the out-of-favour defender in both of England’s Nations League clashes over the most recent international break.
And Maguire was clearly lacking confidence, giving away a clumsy penalty after being caught on the ball by Jamal Musiala to hand Germany the lead.
He was then caught out of position high up the pitch as they doubled their lead on a night to forget for the defender.
However, clubmate and compatriot Shaw has been quick to jump to his defence after helping to inspire a comeback to a 3-3 draw at Wembley, warning that Maguire is not going anywhere anytime soon and that England fans will have to accept it.
“Of course Harry is an amazing player, an amazing character”, he began. “He has taken a lot of stick, probably more than I have ever seen before in football but he never hides away, he is always there”.
“You can have people that can hide away and not want to be in the spotlight but he keeps putting himself in the spotlight and it shows the strength and character he has got because, come on, everyone knows that he is an unbelievable player.
“At the moment the confidence might not be there because it might feel like the whole world is against him, it is tough for him but us as players, staff we are all behind him because he is a very important player and it shows Gareth’s trust that he has played in both games.
“Look at the Euros and what he has done, people need to understand he is a big part of the England team and they have to accept it.”
Barring a major change in circumstances, it does seem as though Maguire will be leading the England defence when they step out in their next game, their World Cup opener against Iran in spite of a lack of club football.