WATCH: Why Harry Maguire always starts for England despite lack of Manchester United minutes
While Maguire has rarely featured for his club this season, Gareth Southgate continues to trust him at centre-back for the national team
Despite making just five Premier League starts for Manchester United this season, and only a further six appearances from the bench, Harry Maguire continues to be selected for England, seemingly un-droppable from Gareth Southgate's squad.
Indeed, the centre-back started every game of World Cup 2022 and the nation's opening two Euro 2024 qualifiers against Italy and Ukraine, all of which have been intensely scrutinised due to his lack of minutes at Old Trafford this season.
As FourFourTwo's Adam Clery points out, one major flaw of Maguire's game is his tendency to break out from defence when the ball is passed into the opposition striker who has dropped a little deeper. Invariably, he is caught out - exemplified against Italy when Mateo Retegui scored on his international debut.
Plenty of football fans are often left perplexed - either justified or not - with Maguire consistently making the England squad as a result, but there are specific reasons as to why Gareth Southgate continues to start him in England's biggest games.
really good at line-breaking passes, passes which pierce straight through the opposition's attack and midfield to find either Harry Kane up front, or an attacking midfielder on the half-turn.
Comfortable on the ball and confident at progressing it from defence either through passing or dribbling, Maguire is statistically one of the best centre-backs in the world at playing positively.
His performances for England have also been reliable in the half-decade he has been a part of the squad, too, Southgate trusting Maguire to fulfil his defensive duties while also expecting progressive play.
A World Cup semi-final, quarter-final and European Championships final have all been achieved with Maguire starting the majority of games, testament to his strong displays at the heart of the England backline.
As Adam Clery states: "So why does Harry Maguire continue to get picked as left-sided centre-back for England? Well, because Harry Maguire continues to be the best option at left-sided centre-back for England."
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Ryan is a staff writer for FourFourTwo, joining the team full-time in October 2022. He first joined Future in December 2020, working across FourFourTwo, Golf Monthly, Rugby World and Advnture's websites, before eventually earning himself a position with FourFourTwo permanently. After graduating from Cardiff University with a degree in Journalism and Communications, Ryan earned a NCTJ qualification to further develop as a writer while a Trainee News Writer at Future.
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