England icon Terry Butcher has explained that Manchester United captain Harry Maguire has an important role to play in Gareth Southgate’s squad despite his injury.
The United skipper returned to training for the national side on Thursday but is still seen as unlikely to feature in Sunday’s opening game against Croatia.
Questions have been raised as to why Maguire has been selected if there’s a possibility he will not be at full fitness for the entire tournament, having missed the closing stages of United’s season.
However, Butcher has explained that his experience, alongside Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson, is enough of a reason to select the pair.
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“Well I think it’s difficult, in 2002 and 2004 when England had problem with injuries with Beckham and Rooney it certainly did affect the squad but you have to approach the games as if they’re not available unless they’re bang on 100 per cent and see how they get on in training,” he told PlayOJO.
“Henderson and Maguire are still in the squad even with their injuries due to their experience – it’s difficult to not have them and if they’re fit on and on form in training Gareth will play them but he knows what he’s doing, he won’t risk playing them unless they’re 100%.
“Gareth can see very close at hand what the players are like. He’ll know if Jordan is up to speed, same as Maguire. It’s a shame as they were the heroes of 2018 but he knows what he’s doing, he won’t take any unnecessary risks and play them if they’re not 100%.”
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