Manchester United captain Harry Maguire has suggested that he is not as appreciated at club level as he is for England.
Maguire made the switch to the Red Devils for £80m back in 2019 and has since divided opinion after being named the skipper less than a year later. This season, he was quickly dropped by incoming United manager Erik ten Hag in favour of Raphael Varane and summer signing Lisandro Martinez.
At international level however, the centre-back has been one of England’s most dependable performers under Gareth Southgate, playing a major role in the Three Lions’ deep tournament runs over the last five years.
Maguire started for England in Thursday’s 2-1 win at Italy in Euro 2024 qualifying. He didn’t cover himself in glory for the Azzurri’s goal but stood tall late on to help grind out the victory.
Speaking to the media post-match, Maguire was asked if he feels ‘properly appreciated’.
“For England, yes, I do,” he replied. “Obviously, last season was difficult for the club, but, listen, I’ve proven myself to Gareth, who works with a wide range of centre backs. He has the choice of all the English centre-backs in the country and I play, every time I’m available, I’ve been in the team.
“I’m sure if you ask the rest of the lads they know what I bring to the team. I’m 30 years old but I shouldn’t really need to prove myself at this level. I’ve over 50 caps. I’m England’s top-scoring defender.
“I’ve played nearly 200 times for Manchester United, I’ve captained the club for three years now, but I do also understand that when you’re the captain of Manchester United you do come under the most amount of scrutiny. Last season at club level, my performance wasn’t good enough, alongside everybody else at club level, not just myself struggled. Everyone else struggled.”
Maguire recognises that he has not always been at his best while wearing a United shirt.
He was an easy scapegoat during their dreadful 2021/22 season in which they recorded their lowest ever points tally in the Premier League era.
That said, Maguire has also failed to kick on and if anything has taken several steps backwards after what was a promising first half to 2021, emerging as one of the league’s leading centre-backs and playing out of his skin while unfit in England’s run to the Euro 2020 final.
His case hasn’t been helped by his outward need silence critics, notably scoring for England and sticking his fingers in his ears as a celebration amid his decline for United.
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