Under-pressure Harry Maguire has found an unlikely ally in the form of Italy great Giorgio Chiellini, who believes too much is expected of the England defender.
Harry Maguire lost his Man United place after a poor start to the season
Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez quickly formed a good partnership
Gareth Southgate has retained faith with Maguire in his latest England squad
Italian great Giorgio Chiellini has sprung to the defence of his fellow defender
Chiellini says it isn’t Maguire’s fault he is burdened with £ 8 million price tag
Maguire has lost his place in Manchester United’s defence after early season struggles, with manager Erik ten Hag axing his captain to create a partnership between Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez.
The 29-year-old, regularly a target of criticism from fans, is however trusted by England boss Gareth Southgate and was included in the latest squad despite losing his United place.
And veteran defender Chiellini, who retired from international football after this summer’s Finalissima against Argentina, has come to Maguire’s defence.
I am sad for Maguire’s situation because he is a good player,’ Chiellini told The Times. They require too much of him. Just because they paid £80million for him, he has to be the best in the world every match? It’s not right.
‘The value of the market is dependent on many aspects you can’t control. It’s not your fault.
‘Him and (John) Stones are a good duo. OK, Maguire maybe is not Rio Ferdinand but he’s good enough.
‘With this situation it’s not helping [England] to do the best. If you want to win the World Cup, it’s impossible to do it with some problems in the key players, and for sure Maguire is one of the key players in the team.’
Maguire is likely to be involved when England play Italy in the UEFA Nations League in Milan’s San Siro on Friday night.
The Three Lions conclude their Nations League group at home to Germany on Monday night and realistically need to win both matches to avoid relegation to League B of the competition.
Chiellini, 38, captained Italy to glory at the European Championship last year, when they defeated England on penalties at Wembley.
He left Juventus over the summer to move to Major League Soccer team Los Angeles FC, helping them win the Western Conference by a considerable margin.-DailyMirror
Maguire started United’s first two matches of the season but a 2-1 home loss to Brighton and a 4-0 thrashing at Brentford saw him lose his place.– DailyMail.