England coach Gareth Southgate concerned by Maguire’s lack of playing time and the conditions of Toney’s ban

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England coach Gareth Southgate expressed that it is challenging to ensure Harry Maguire’s inclusion in England’s starting lineup due to his limited playing time. Additionally, the manager had reservations about Ivan Toney’s recovery during his eight-month suspension from football. 

Despite being appointed as Manchester United’s captain, Maguire is no longer a primary center-back for the team, despite being the most expensive defender in the world.

Maguire’s position in the hierarchy has been surpassed by Lisandro Martinez, Raphael Varane, and Victor Lindelof. Additionally, Luke Shaw, who typically plays as a left-back, has even taken on the role of central defender. As a result, Maguire has only started in seven league matches this season.

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Harry Maguire
Harry Maguire has seen less play time this season

“Inevitably it’s not a situation that can continue forever,” said Southgate, who has handed Maguire over 50 England caps and included him in the squad for next month’s Euro 2024 qualifiers.

“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 expressed worry about the lack of support for Brentford’s striker Toney in his rehabilitation after being penalized for violating the Football Association’s betting regulations.

England coach Gareth Southgate
Ivan Toney has been handed an 8-month ban

“What bothers me is we’ve got to look after people. He’s injured at the moment, what does he do about getting fit?” Southgate said.

“I don’t like the idea that we just leave somebody so they are not allowed to be a part of the football community, I don’t think that’s how we should work. I don’t think that’s how the best rehabilitation programs would work.”

READ ALSO: England Squad for the Euro 2024 qualifiers revealed: Eze earns his first call-up as Sterling misses out

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