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Damage control! Gareth Southgate heads to Old Trafford to save Maguire

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Manchester United captain who had suffered a miserable slump in form has been unable to recover from the nightmare that has plagued his performances for some time now.

It became worst for the 29-year-old who was once a Leicester City top defender before his move to Old Trafford in a record transfer fee of £80m making him then the most expensive defender after he relinquished his position at the heart of United’s defence to new signing Lisandro Martinez.

Sadly, Maguire has extended his poor form to the national team after some recent undesirable displays for the Three Lions in the European Nations League, especially in England’s 3-3 draw against Germany where he gave away a penalty and another wrong pass that led to the build-up of another goal against his team.

Maguire gave away a penalty in England’s 3-3 draw against Germany

Meanwhile, England boss Gareth Southgate who has kept his faith in Maguire is now making every possible attempt to help the 29-year-old revive his career as he made a plea to United counterpart Erik ten Hag after starting Maguire in England’s matches against Italy and Germany in the past week, despite the centre-back being relegated to the bench at Old Trafford.

Southgate has headed to Old Trafford to help Maguire by way of urging United’s boss to kindly give the under-fire defender more playing time to help rediscover his form.

Southgate is believed to have given the troubled defender his full backing with the belief that his presence is key to England’s success this winter.

‘I know everybody says he’s important to me, he’s important to us! It’s us. It’s not me,’ insisted Southgate.

‘Why do we pick him? Because he’s one of the players who gives us the best chance of winning.

‘So really we should all be wanting a Harry Maguire that’s playing regularly and playing with confidence.

‘That applies to quite a few players but he’s the one everything lands on, which must be a tough space for him.’

Southgate bemoaned the fact he will not see his players as a group again until after the final round of Premier League matches in November, with no space in the schedule for World Cup warm-up games and just eight days between the last top-flight fixtures on November 13 and England’s Group B opener with Iran.

Southgate added: ‘This is what’s unique to us compared to any other sport internationally.

‘The rugby get eight weeks (lead-in time) just for the Six Nations. The cricketers are together all year on central contracts. This is the difference. We don’t get the four weeks we had ahead of Russia (the 2018 World Cup). But we have to adapt better than anybody else.’

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The England manager ruled out a meet-up with his players, who face a gruelling calendar between now and mid-November with their clubs.

‘No, there just isn’t going to be time,’ he said. ‘They are going to have too many matches and we have to respect what they are doing with their clubs.

‘We have got a lot of analysis of the opposition. Of course we need to monitor our players. We always look to find out absolutely everything about them so we are not short of stuff to be getting on with.’

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