Southgate hails Maguire as a top player and reveals why he struggles for Manchester United

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Manchester United paid £80m to sign Harry Maguire, making him the most expensive defender in the world.

However, Maguire’s performance for the Red Devils haven’t been consistent, even though he plays well for the Three Lions.

England head coach Gareth Southgate has defended his decision to call up Maguire for the upcoming international games, insisting that Maguire’s bad form for Manchester United is down to the struggles at United.

According to Southgate, Maguire is a top player, even though he keeps getting criticised by pundits.

“I don’t think it ever crossed our mind not to select Harry Maguire for this squad,” the England boss said after naming his squad for this month’s friendlies against Switzerland and the Ivory Coast.

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

“I know the club are going through a difficult period, but you’ve got to look at who are our best players, and the core of the team, and he’s in that group. With no doubt in my mind that he’s one of our best centre-backs. Form, in that sense, is temporary.”

He added: “There’s a more difficult path to selecting a football team and selecting a squad. But Harry now has over 40 caps, is consistently a strong performer for us, [and] was through the autumn period as well. Hopefully he can continue that vein of form with us, that he’s had for such a long period of time.”