Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini has expressed a degree of sympathy for Harry Maguire and claims too much is expected of the England international.
Maguire, 29, is Manchester United captain. That alone comes with some big responsibilities, and it shouldn’t be someone that draws sympathy. Instead, it should be someone who demands respect.
Chiellini has always been seen as a good example of a top professional.
The former Italy captain was speaking ahead of Friday’s match between his country and England, a repeat of the Euro 2020 final, when he stated that Maguire is being unfairly criticised because of his £80 million transfer fee which Manchester United paid to Leicester City in 2019.
Assessing England’s defensive options, Chiellini told The Times: “I am sad for Maguire’s situation because he is a good player.
“They [Manchester United] require too much of him. Just because they paid £80m for him, he has to be the best in the world every match? It’s not right.
“The value of the market is dependent on many aspects you can’t control. It’s not your fault.
“Him and [John] Stones are a good duo. OK, Maguire maybe is not Rio Ferdinand but he’s good enough. With this situation it’s not helping [England] to do the best.
“If you want to win the World Cup it’s impossible to do it with some problems in the key players, and for sure Maguire is one of the key players of the team.”
Chiellini is not the first player to come out defending Maguire ahead of the internationals. Graeme Souness even suggested that he can see him getting back into the United team, but it seems like everyone wants to forget that he is lucky to be in the Three Lions squad.
Maguire started the first two games of the season which ended in defeat for United. Pundits across the country tore into him and other players at the time, yet they’ve been complimentary of our defence since he was dropped. Can you see the common denominator?