Manchester United captain Harry Maguire has taken a sly dig at his coach Erik ten Hag, stating that he is appreciated at the national team level.
The 30-year-old has struggled for minutes at Old Trafford this season, playing just 1,181 minutes of competitive action in all competitions for the Red Devils (an equivalent of 13 games).
The defender made the switch from Leicester for £80m back in 2019 and has since divided opinion after being named the skipper less than a year later. After a series of high-profile errors for previous bosses, Maguire was quickly dropped by incoming United manager Erik ten Hag this season, with the duo of Raphael Varane and summer signing Lisandro Martinez preferred.
However, at the international level, the centre-back has been one of England’s most dependable performers under Gareth Southgate. He has been a regular starter for the Three Lions and played a significant role in their deep tournament runs over the last five years.
On Thursday, he was in the starting XI for Southgate’s side as they beat Italy 2-1 in Euro 2024 qualifying. While he didn’t cover himself in glory for the Azzurri’s goal, he stood tall late on to help grind out the victory.
Speaking to the media after the match, Maguire appeared to take a sly dig at his club coach, stating he feels properly appreciated by Southgate.
When asked if he feels appreciated, Maguire said, “For England, yes, I do.”
“Obviously, last season was difficult for the club, but, listen, I’ve proven myself to Gareth, who works with a wide range of centre-backs. He has the choice of all the English centre-backs in the country, and I play. Every time I’m available, I’ve been in the team.
“I’m sure if you ask the rest of the lads, they know what I bring to the team. I’m 30 years old, but I shouldn’t really need to prove myself at this level. I’ve over 50 caps. I’m England’s top-scoring defender.
“I’ve played nearly 200 times for Manchester United, I’ve captained the club for three years now, but I do also understand that when you’re the captain of Manchester United, you do come under the most amount of scrutiny. Last season at club level, my performance wasn’t good enough, alongside everybody else at club level, not just myself, struggled. Everyone else struggled.”
Maguire has 57 caps for England and has scored seven times for the Three Lions.