Harry Maguire has given some forthright views on getting dropped by Erik ten Hag
Southgate claimed that there is an agenda against Maguire
Gareth Southgate has strongly defended Harry Maguire following his decision to name him in the starting 11 for England's game against Italy.
Maguire has lost his place in the Manchester United team following a poor run of form but was still called up to the Three Lions squad for their Nations League fixtures against Italy and Germany.
On losing out on a starting role, while United play Lisandro Martinez and Raphaël Varane, Maguire told talkSPORT, "I am all good, ready to play, I feel fit and fresh. On my form, I don't know what has been said, I don't really read about it.
"I came off the back of three positive games with England in the summer, and a good pre-season, I felt really good. Obviously, the manager [Erik ten Hag] decided to leave me out for a game, and the team have been winning since.
"I am working hard on the training pitch to make sure I am ready for when my opportunity comes. That is all what I can do to try and help the team. I am not concentrating on anybody else and what people are saying, I think if people can make a story about me, I am Manchester United captain, it is going to make big news.
"So, that is the reason they do it, they like the clicks, and things like that, but I went into the Euros after an eight-week injury, and did not play one game, and got into the team of the tournament."
Under Southgate, Maguire has been one of England's best performers and an integral part of the side which has reached a World Cup semi final and final of the European Championships in consecutive tournaments. Southgate backed the defender, while claiming there is an agenda against Maguire.
England defeat sees them relegated
"Look, clearly, it’s not an ideal situation," Gareth Southgate said, pre-match, when asked about Harry Maguire's club troubles. You want your best players playing regularly so that they’re physically in a good place and mentally in a good place.
"But he is an important player for us. I think it’s important to back our best players. He was in the team of the tournament [Euro 2020], he's a big player for us and very important."
Both Harry Maguire and Gareth Southgate seem to hold a lot of stock in that Euro 2020 Team of the Tournament accolade.
Maguire started at the back alongside Eric Dier, who made his first international appearance since featuring in a 4-0 win against Iceland, in November, 2020.
A 1-0 defeat for England saw them relegated from their Nations League group in what was their penultimate game before they officially begin their World Cup campaign in Qatar.
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