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Euros: Should England take Harry Maguire to Germany?

Harry Maguire's international future with England remains finely balanced, with big question marks over whether he will be part of Gareth Southgate's squad for next summer's Euros.

WhatEuro 2024
WhereGermany
When14th June - 14th July 2024
How to watchBBC & ITV
OddsFrance 4/1, England 9/2, Germany 7/1, Spain 8/1, Portugal 9/1

Reliable under Southgate

The Manchester United centre-back has been one of the mainstays of Southgate's line-up and has enjoyed some memorable moments for his country.

However, after he was sarcastically jeered by his fans against Scotland earlier this month, it appears there is a groundswell of opinion - from the stands at least - that the 30-year-old's time on the international stage is up.

There's no doubting Maguire has been a trusted selection for Southgate down the years. This is a player who was crucial in the run to the World Cup semi-finals in 2018, scoring in the 2–0 win over Sweden in the quarter-finals as he formed part of a backline that shone in Russia.

Then at Euro 2020 he was named man of the match in the memorable 2-0 last-16 win at Wembley over Germany and scored the second goal in the 4-0 romp over Ukraine in the quarter-finals.

England were only penalties away from European glory two years ago when they lost to Italy in the final and they are 9/2 second favourites to go one better in Germany, with World Cup runners-up France 4/1.

No room for loyalty?

There are valid claims that Southgate's loyalty for Maguire has now gone too far. 

Judging him purely on his ability will lead to plenty of observers to suggest that he's simply not good enough and, while he has enjoyed a fruitful international career - winning 59 caps - it could well be that the end of his international career is nigh.

Remember, he is no longer featuring regularly for his club and it's fair to say was unwanted in the summer when United tried to sell him to West Ham. 

The move fell through and Maguire vowed to fight for his place, but it's clear his exit from Old Trafford, whether in January or next summer, looks inevitable.

Southgate has often - but not always - preferred to select players who are playing regularly in club football and it could be he views Maguire as the sort of character so valuable around the squad that he does decide to include him in his plans for Germany, even if he remains somewhat of an outcast in Manchester.

Club future very uncertain

The counter-argument here, of course, is that he could leave the Red Devils and be performing well elsewhere by next summer, so Southgate makes the obvious choice to name the experienced defender in his squad anyway.

If Maguire doesn't make the final cut next summer, Southgate has plenty of other options at centre-back. John Stones, Lewis Dunk and Marc Guehi are all viable alternatives at the minute, then there's rising star Levi Colwill, who probably deserves his chance.

Other options include Ben White and Fikayo Tomori, while the likes of Reece James and Kyle Walker could be utilised as part of a back-three if Southgate decides to alter his formation.

Too many errors

One of the nagging doubts over Maguire is that he is too error-prone and, as he gets older, a lack of pace could severely hinder him in the cut and thrust of elite football.

There's no question he is a master at reading the game, while he can continue to have a major influence at set-pieces at both ends of the pitch - something England have worked hard on and relied upon in recent years.

Squad could benefit from Maguire influence

If there's room in his final squad for Germany for a vastly-experienced squad player, who has impressed in previous tournaments, then Southgate may decide to include Maguire.

That will both demonstrate his loyalty and make a point to some of the fans who have decided to turn against one of their own.

However, the feeling is that, all things considered, Maguire probably doesn't deserve a place in England’s squad next summer when they will look to win Euro 2024.

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