Home » Rio Ferdinand warns Gareth Southgate against Harry Maguire ahead of World Cup

Rio Ferdinand warns Gareth Southgate against Harry Maguire ahead of World Cup

by David O'Neill

Rio Ferdinand has urged Gareth Southgate to drop Manchester United captain Harry Maguire ahead of the England’s World Cup campaign.

The former United defender believes that Southgate has better options to choose from going into the tournament.

Speaking to TalkSport, Ferdinand said, “Walker would start for me at centre-half, but he’s not fit.

“Will he make it? I don’t know. John Stones would be the first name on the team sheet.

“And I’ll be honest I just can’t pick who else it’s going to be, it’s that difficult. Chalobah is playing well right now, but when we get to the tournament, is he going to be in that same form?

“Or is Gareth even going to pick someone like Chalobah who hasn’t really been around it?

“Will Tomori get another sniff? It’s difficult to think who he’s going to play.”

With four names down before even considering Harry Maguire, it is clear that Ferdinand does not consider him to be among Southgate’s better options at the back.

And that is in part due to the player’s lack of time on the pitch, with Maguire having slipped down the pecking order at Old Trafford.

“Will you play Harry Maguire who hasn’t played any games? I think you need to playing week in, week out,” said Ferdinand.

With just one club fixture to go before the England squad heads out to Qatar, Maguire’s match fitness is unlikely to see much improvement.

Despite that, Ferdinand sees a chance for the former Leicester City stopper because of Southgate’s habit of sticking with his favourites.

“I think Gareth’s a very loyal man, he knows what Harry Maguire brings him.

“Listen, Harry Maguire has never ever let him down in an England shirt, let’s be blunt about that.

“So that will I think carry some weight. But I don’t know, going into the tournament as a player who hasn’t played any football, it’s difficult.

“It’s different going in injured, he went into a tournament on the back of an injury remember and played well but going in and not playing and having no rhythm as well, it’s hard work that.”

Maguire will be travelling to Qatar, but it is unclear how much of an impact he will be able to make for the Three Lions given his circumstances.

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