England boss Gareth Southgate has fired a warning to Manchester United captain Harry Maguire over his lack of game time at Old Trafford.
The Three Lions take on Italy and Ukraine in Euro 2024 qualifying next week on Thursday and Sunday and Southgate was asked about Maguire’s situation.
Maguire, 30, has been a regular under Southgate, helping England reach the World Cup semi-finals in 2018 as well as the Euro 2020 final.
But the centre-back has struggled for minutes at United since the arrival of Erik ten Hag in the summer, losing his place to Rafael Varane and Lisandro Martinez.
Maguire, who has 53 caps for England, has played just 95 minutes across United’s last nine Premier League matches.
‘It’s not a perfect scenario,’ Southgate said. ‘Harry has got two World Cup winners currently ahead of him in the (United) team and that’s the benchmark.’
Southgate did, however, praise Maguire for his performances at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar and how he has handled being dropped to the bench.
‘He dealt with it brilliantly in Qatar,’ Southgate added. ‘His performances were exceptional.
‘He had a lot of pressure going into those games because the spotlight was on him, but he was without doubt one of our best players in the tournament.’
Paris Saint-Germain were keen to sign Maguire in January and will attempt to bring him to France in the summer transfer window, according to reports.
Ten Hag has praised Maguire in recent weeks, saying he would like to keep him at the club and have as many options as possible.
‘I’m really happy with Harry Maguire,’ the Dutchman said last month. ‘I think he’s progressing really well and in the games he is playing, he is doing really well.
‘But we have big competition. Harry is right-footed – a big competitor with Rapha Varane, who is also a brilliant player.
‘But that is what we need if we want to restore Manchester United – we need top players but also double the players in every position.’
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