Gareth Southgate says dropping Harry Maguire never crossed his mind 3 months ago

Gareth Southgate says dropping Harry Maguire never crossed his mind

17/03/2022

'There wasn't a chance we weren't going to call him up'

Gareth Southgate has admitted that he never considered dropping Harry Maguire from the England squad despite his recent poor form.

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Maguire was named in Southgate's squad for the upcoming March friendlies against the Ivory Coast and Switzerland whereas club teammates Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho were excluded from the list.

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The Manchester United skipper has had a difficult campaign this season and was ironically cheered by sections of the crowd at Old Trafford when he was substituted in their defeat to Atletico Madrid on Tuesday night.

But when asked if he had pondered leaving the 29-year-old out, Southgate dismissed the idea and said that it was a no-brainer to include the defender, as well as explaining his decision to leave out Rashford and Sancho.

"I don't think it ever crossed our minds not to select Harry Maguire for this squad," Southgate said during his press conference on Wednesday.

"There wasn't a chance we weren't going to call him up.

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"He's one of our best centre backs. I always get criticised for being inconsistent but there are nuances. We have more competition in the wide areas."

Southgate also added that while he knows what Rashford can offer to the side, his recent poor form was a factor in leaving him out of the squad.

He said: "With Marcus, he is in the same position as everyone else, whether they are in the squad or not they all have to play well in the next period, it is a difficult time for him, he is clearly not at his best.

"There is plenty of time, we know about Marcus, we know what he can bring to us."

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