Maguire omission for England never 'crossed our minds' - Southgate

Harry Maguire, San Marino vs EnglandGetty

Gareth Southgate says that it never "crossed our minds" to drop Harry Maguire for England's March internationals amid the Manchester United captain's rough run of form at Old Trafford.

Maguire and team-mate Luke Shaw were both selected for the Three Lions' latest round of fixtures later this month, though Red Devils team-mates Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho were both left out amid the club's on-field struggles.

Speaking after the announcement though, the England boss admitted that the defender was always set to play a part for him, particularly after his stellar showings over the years at Russia 2018 and Euro 2020.

What has been said?

"I don’t think it ever crossed our minds not to select Harry Maguire for this squad,” Southgate stated on the centre-back's inclusion.

"He’s been a key part of the starting XI that got us to a World Cup semi-final and a Euros final.

"There’s no doubt in my mind that he’s one of our best centre-backs."

What has Maguire's form been like?

The defender has come under fire for much of the season, following his stalwart efforts across the 2020-21 campaign in skippering United to a second-place Premier League finish and Europa League final - which he missed through injury.

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But he has suffered post-Euro 2020, and has been a lightning rod for criticism around the club, from reports of a rift with Cristiano Ronaldo to individual errors leading to seriously lapsed results.

Yet the 29-year-old's talent remains clearly at his disposal, and a two-week break with England - for whom he has been one of the most consistent performers of recent years - could be just what Maguire needs to move back towards better form.

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