Gareth Southgate willing to stake reputation on Harry Maguire

Gareth Southgate has no plans to drop Harry Maguire and is willing to stake his reputation on the centre-back.

Maguire has lost his place in the Manchester United starting lineup this season, with Erik ten Hag preferring Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane to the club captain.

That led many to believe his place in the England team was in jeopardy ahead of the World Cup, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.

He’s been one of Southgate’s most-used players since the former England international took over, and speaking to the press, the manager said he still believes the Man Utd man deserves to start for him and is willing to stake his reputation on it.

“Clearly, it’s not an ideal situation,” he said.

“We’re only a few weeks on from pre-season so, physically, if they’ve had a few 90 minutes, that’s fine. Another seven to eight weeks, that does start to become more complicated.

“But he is an important player for us and it’s important to back our best players. Whatever reputation I have, I’m putting it on there.

“He is our most dominant aerial centre-back. Him and John [Stones] are incredible with the ball. The amount of pressure they have taken for the team in tournaments because we don’t always have that midfield pivot player who can progress the game – it means there is a huge amount more pressure on our centre-backs to use the ball well and those two are as good as any in world football at doing that.”

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