Gareth Southgate admits 'complicated decision' over Harry Maguire's England future

Matt O'Connor-Simpson
Maguire has been in poor form for Manchester United
Maguire has been in poor form for Manchester United / Michael Regan/GettyImages

Gareth Southgate has admitted that he has a 'complicated decision' to make over Harry Maguire's England future.

Maguire has been in wretched form for Manchester United this season, forming part of a defence that has shipped 40 goals – more than any other side in the top eight of the Premier League.

United's chances of ending their wait for silverware also went up in flames before the international break when Atletico Madrid knocked them out of the Champions League.

Despite his struggles away from the Three Lions, Southgate still included him in his latest squad, although he did not feature in his team's 2-1 friendly win over Switzerland.

Speaking before England's second and final game of the international break against Ivory Coast, Southgate defended Maguire. However, he also admitted that a lack of quality replacements had helped the Man Utd man keep his spot in the side.

"He's got us to a World Cup semi-final and European Championship final. There's no doubt that he's more than capable of playing at the highest level," he said.

"He was very good for us in the autumn and the club are in a difficult moment – there could be any number of reasons for that.

"That doesn't mean that players can be poor for a couple of years and find their way in. Sometimes it depends on competition for positions.

"We’ve obviously left some forward players out who haven’t been in good form. But there’s direct replacements, experienced replacements for those players. So as I say, it is a complicated decision."

Maguire may be handed the armband against Ivory Coast as skipper Harry Kane seems likely to be rested, as does vice-captain Jordan Henderson.

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