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Gareth Southgate ‘offers Harry Maguire assurances over England spot’

Gareth Southgate ‘offers Harry Maguire assurances over England spot’

England boss Gareth Southgate has reportedly been in contact with Harry Maguire to assure the centre-back that he remains a key figure for the national team.

Maguire is currently out of the Manchester United team, with the club captain forced to watch from the bench due to the performances of Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane in the middle of the defence.

The 29-year-old has not featured for the Red Devils since the 4-0 loss at Brentford on August 13, and he faces an uphill battle to force his way back into the side on a regular basis.

There had been suggestions that Maguire’s lack of football could count against him when it comes to the 2022 World Cup, which will begin in November.

However, Three Lions head coach Southgate has allegedly offered the former Sheffield United youngster assurances over his spot for the national team.

© Reuters

“Gareth has been in contact and assured him that he has a lot of credit in the bank with England thanks to his previous performances,” The Sun quotes a source as saying.

“Naturally he wants to play and is worried that not getting game time might affect his place in the England team ahead of the World Cup. But he’s spoken to Gareth who has told him he has no need to worry at the moment.

“He’s been told there’s enough credit in the bank with England because he has never let the national side down. For the time being at least, he’s still firmly part of the manager’s plans for Qatar.

“Gareth reached out to give him reassurance in the hope it helps him concentrate on his training and his form so as and when ten Hag calls on him, he is in the right place to put in a good performance.

“He is hopeful he will feature in United’s Europa League game this week against Real Sociedad. The coaches have been talking to him and have been looking at working on things that he can improve – body shape and positioning and speed in the first defensive moments.

Harry Maguire in action for Manchester United on August 13, 2022© Reuters

“Harry has rolled his sleeves up and is getting stuck in. He’s straight forward in his approach and very much a team player.”

Maguire struggled for form last season, and he was linked with a move away from Man United over the summer, with Barcelona and Chelsea both said to have shown an interest.

England have two UEFA Nations League fixtures this month against Italy and Germany, while their World Cup campaign is due to begin against Iran on November 21.

Maguire has been capped on 46 occasions by his country, scoring seven times in the process.

As well as Varane and Martinez, the Englishman also faces competition from Victor Lindelof for a spot in the middle of the Man United defence, but he could potentially feature in the upcoming Europa League clashes with Real Sociedad and Sheriff Tiraspol.

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