Tuesday, March 21, 2023

What will happen to Maguire in England?

Harry Maguire has been moved to the substitute bench at Manchester United, with no regard for his position as the club’s captain and his position as the most expensive defender in history.

His bad moment with United raises a question. Will he also lose the Stripes in the England squad for the World Cup in Qatar?

England manager Gareth Southgate has previously said he does not like to call out players who do not have minutes for their clubs. Maguire only needs to look to his United teammates – Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Luke Shaw – to see that Southgate is true to his word.

But Maguire may be a different matter.

At the moment, Maguire has been displaced by Argentine Lysandro Martínez and Frenchman Rafael Varane within the hierarchical order of Central United. But he will get minutes in the weeks before the World Cup, as the club will also have to intervene in the Europa League, and coach Erik ten Haag will have to turn around.

Maguire will at least have a good shooting charge, that is, if he doesn’t get hurt. Be more careful if Martinez and Varane also face some physical accident.

And the other thing that is in his favor is that Southgate does not have much choice in the Central Zone.

You have John Stones, who is not necessarily the untouchable at Manchester City. There are five centre-backs in the team of the Premier League champions.

Connor Cody left Wolverhampton, where he lost his job, and now plays for the ailing Everton. Tyrone Mings was dropped at a replacement role at Aston Villa at the start of the season, but has returned to the starting eleven due to injuries.

Mark Gui (Crystal Palace) and Fikayo Tomori (Milan) have been called in over the past year, but neither looms as essential pieces of the Southgate puzzle.


boon for alves

After completing his second spell at Barcelona, ​​Dani Alves received instructions from Brazilian coach Tite. They had to find a club where they could play regularly before the World Cup.

He is taking them on with Pumas UNAM, but the Mexican adventure has been lucky for the 39-year-old.

The capital’s club is at the last place in the table after 12 matches. And the right back has been booed for his performance. Alves have yet to celebrate victories in the eight matches they have played with Pumas, who are eager to win their first league title in 11 years.

“Boooing doesn’t seem normal or proper to me, but we know where it comes from,” said Pumas coach Andres Lilini, who has used Alves in three different positions in midfield, as well as right back. “They are players who drop everything and who are not in a good moment like everyone else”.

Alves made his World Cup qualifying debut for Brazil and also won a gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics last year.

Surprises called in Argentina

The preliminary list of Argentine soccer players for two friendly matches in September, the final list before the break before the World Cup, included two unexpected nicknames: Enzo Fernández and Thiago Almada.

This is not the first time that both players have received summons to the senior team, although it is surprising that coach Lionel Scaloni has kept them in mind for practice matches against Honduras and Jamaica on 23 and 27 September in the United States. In which the squad traveling to Qatar will have to be defined.

Although the coach did not comment on the reasons for the call, Fernandez is a midfielder with one important quality: goals. Recently arriving from Portugal to Benfica, he not only established himself as a starter, but he scored three goals.

The 21-year-old is fighting for a place in the World Cup list alongside Exquil Palacios, another attacking midfielder who plays for Bayer Leverkusen but is frequently injured.

The 21-year-old striker was signed by Atlanta United of MLS this year and has scored four goals and six assists. His chances of moving to Qatar seem slim and he will point to a generational shift after the World Cup.

Nation World News Desk
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