Southgate warns Harry Maguire ‘this can’t continue forever’ after calling axed Man Utd ace up to England squad
HARRY MAGUIRE faces the England axe unless he sorts out his Manchester United nightmare.
The Old Trafford skipper is in the Three Lions squad for Euro 2024 qualifiers against Malta and North Macedonia — despite only making seven Prem starts this season.
GettyNew arrivals in Man United’s defence last summer has made first-team football far harder to come by for Maguire[/caption]
GettyGareth Southgate has made some big calls in his latest squad announcement[/caption]
But England boss Gareth Southgate warned: “It’s not a situation that can continue forever.
“It’s like Kalvin Phillips, they are important players for us.”
Midfielder Phillips has also struggled for minutes and only made his first Prem start for Manchester City in the 1-0 win over Chelsea on Sunday.
Southgate added: “With Kalvin, we haven’t got many players who can play as that single pivot.
“Of course the longer that situation goes on the more concerning it is and we’ve got in Marc Guehi, Lewis Dunk, Tyrone Mings . . . players who are playing well without the same experiences of club European football or international football.
“But we’ve got to keep searching for competition in that area of the pitch.”
Southgate was asked if he would keep selecting keeper Jordan Pickford if Everton are relegated this weekend.
He said: “That would depend on how well he was playing.
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“It wouldn’t be ideal because clearly the level of attacks, finishing, speed of the game would be completely different, so I think it would be difficult — but let’s see what Sunday brings.”
Raheem Sterling once again misses out owing to his poor form for Chelsea but it was the player himself who insisted he had not been playing at the right level.
The winger is determined to return for England after a summer break.
Southgate said: “He didn’t feel like he was in a condition to play. I spoke with him a week or so ago.
“He is not happy physically and has been carrying a hamstring problem.
“He was not in consideration so we did not get to the point whether he should be in or out.
GettyRaheem Sterling’s debut season at Stamford Bridge has left much to be desired[/caption]
“He does not think he is operating at the level he needs.
“But I can’t see a scenario when Chelsea aren’t in the top six next year.
“They have an outstanding squad, so they are going to have a good season and I’m sure he will be fundamental to that.
“I would always back him to respond strongly and to have the resilience and tenacity to prove himself.
“It has been difficult for everybody with all the changes at the club. Three different managers, three different ways of training and playing.
“They have no European football, so they will have a game a week. They will be really strong next season and I’m certain he will be a big part of that.”