Former Liverpool midfielder Adam Lallana has admitted that he ‘misjudged’ Harry Maguire at first but has now admitted to his mistake and acknowledged the Manchester United captain as ‘world class’.
Maguire enjoyed a stellar second campaign at Manchester United, his first full season as captain, but had his season cut short when he suffered damage to ankle ligaments in May.
The injury ruled him out of the rest of the season and potentially this summer’s European Championship. The 28-year-old did, however, recover in time for the final group game and has lifted England to another level since his return.
“I misjudged Harry Maguire. I don’t mind admitting that,” Lallana wrote in The Times. “I have always thought he was a very good player, but what this tournament has shown me, and hopefully others, is that he is at the next level: a proven world-class defender.
“One of the things that has been hugely impressive about his performances has been the fact he came back into the team having been out through injury for six weeks. Having suffered injuries, I can vouch for how difficult that is.
“You lack rhythm, you feel a little vulnerable, and so to make the impact Harry has made on one of the biggest stages illustrates not only his ability but also his mentality. He has blown me away with the standards he”
Perhaps the victim of his own high standards, Maguire fell well short of them in the opening six weeks of last season. The former Leicester star endured a torrid start to the campaign on and off the pitch but has recovered to become Gareth Southgate’s most important player.
Maguire could help lead England to their first trophy since 1966 when they won the World Cup with only Italy standing in their way in Sunday’s final at Wembley.