England manager Gareth Southgate has said he is willing to put his reputation on the line in favor of Manchester United defender Harry Maguire, but his place in the squad could become a problem if he continues to play at club level.
Maguire, who helped England reach Euro 2020 last year, has not started Manchester United’s last four Premier League games. It has been four straight wins in the league since Maguire’s last home start — a 4-0 defeat at Brentford.
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“Obviously, it’s not an ideal situation [with Maguire.] We’re only a few weeks into the season so, physically, if they have a few 90 minutes, that’s fine,” Southgate told reporters ahead of England’s Nations League clash with Italy.
“With another seven to eight weeks, it starts to become more complicated. But he’s an important player for us and it’s important to support our best players. Whatever reputation I have, I’ll put it there.”
England are on the brink of relegation to League B after picking up two points from their first four games, including two shock defeats by Hungary.
They play Italy in Milan late Friday and Sept. They host Germany at Wembley on the 26th as they continue their preparations for the World Cup in Qatar.