England manager Gareth Southgate has explained how becoming Manchester United captain has changed Harry Maguire.
The 28-year-old centre back made his return to the starting line-up for the game against the Czech Republic and, for the most part, looked as if he’d never been away.
Maguire had always been viewed as one of the first names on the team sheet heading into Euro 2020 and if it hadn’t been for his injury problems, he likely would’ve played an important role in the games against Croatia and Scotland too.
Maguire’s vital influence
As the Three Lions look ahead to the knockout stage, Gareth Southgate has taken the time to reflect on the role Maguire’s United captaincy has played in his development.
“We’ve noted over the last 12 months but certainly the last six months how when you become the captain of Manchester United the impact that must have on your confidence, and the improvement in his leadership and his desire to step forward and have an influence on the wider group shines through,” said Southgate.
“We’ve got some really important characters in that dressing room that are doing that. Not just Kane and Henderson who are the obvious ones but Maguire and you’ve got Conor Coady – captain of his club – and Kieran Trippier, a really good leader.
“The dressing room doesn’t need as much voice from the coaches before a game as perhaps it did a couple of years ago. You can hear all of those players getting around each other and there are several others who add in to that.
“That’s a healthy environment. It’s a good sign for the team now and moving forward.”
England will hope to have Maguire fit and healthy for their huge Round of 16 clash with Germany on Tuesday.
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