Gareth Southgate makes Harry Maguire claim ahead of England vs Iran

Gareth Southgate has been discussing England and Manchester United centre-back Harry Maguire.

Harry Maguire has not been in the best of form over the last year or so.

Following Euro 2020, Maguire went on to put in some terrible shifts for Manchester United under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick.

Erik ten Hag then took the reins this past summer and was quick to drop Maguire for Raphael Varane and Victor Lindelof.

This has seen Maguire’s game time severely limited in 2022/23 and when he does play, he has looked devoid of confidence.

Despite this, Maguire looks set to be a key figure at the 2022 World Cup, with Southgate full of praise for the stopper ahead of England’s clash with Iran on Monday.

Speaking to reporters, Southgate said: “Loyalty comes from performances over time - and knowing that to play for England is a different experience to any other. Players have to be able to handle that. The ones that have been here longer, we know they can do that.

“What are his strengths? Well, he’s technically a fantastic footballer with the ball. He’s a very strong leader in the team. His physical stature, the aerial challenge is one - we haven’t got anybody else with that physical presence.

“And of course, there is the relationships with other players in the defence which are also part of your thinking when you’re picking a team, because that understanding you don’t have long to work on and the more those relationships are there over a period of time I think it is helpful.”

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Josh Barker

Josh Barker

Middlesbrough fan from the North East of England. @JoshBarker979 on Twitter.

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