Former defender Jamie Carragher has heaped praise on the role played by Manchester United defender Harry Maguire for England.
The 28-year-old once again proved his importance to the Three Lions in Saturday’s 4-0 win over Ukraine. Not only did his attacking contribution help get England to the Euro 2020 semi-finals, but his influence at the back also proved vital. Indeed, manager Gareth Southgate has welcomed him back into his defence with open arms.
Maguire missed the first two group stage matches through injury. However, he has looked back to his best since returning to the fold.
In his column for The Telegraph, ex-centre-back Carragher lauded the United man for his influence. Nevertheless, the pundit insisted that he has a way to go to emulate some of his country’s defenders of old.
“The biggest compliment he can be afforded is he has brought a quality to England’s defence which the best centre-halves of my generation were, for many reasons, unable to,” the pundit wrote.
“Maguire is a visible example of how England’s style has evolved under Southgate, and what most differentiates this side in the past two major tournaments to so many of those before.
“With respect to Maguire, he is not yet at the level of John Terry, Tony Adams, Rio Ferdinand and Sol Campbell.
“But Maguire’s displays at the 2018 World Cup and Euro 2020 have eclipsed those of illustrious England predecessors because he has the licence to play in a manner two of the best – Terry and Ferdinand – never could for their country as they so often did for their club.
“Witness the ease and comfort with which Maguire plays out from the back, pinging accurate passes into midfield, or is willing to stride purposely forward and disrupt the opposition’s defensive set-up as they have to close him down.”
England’s 4-0 win means they will play Denmark on Wednesday evening for a place in the Euro 2020 final.
Elsewhere, Spain and Italy will meet in the other last-four clash, with the remaining three matches at Wembley.
Ferdinand lauds Maguire for England
Ferdinand also lauded Maguire’s display in Rome on Saturday.
He said: “Harry Maguire looks so comfortable at international football. In an England shirt he looks like a man mountain to me. He comes out with the ball and picks the right passes.
“He always tries to come out, bring someone to him and then play the ball and that is the difference.
“He wants to commit someone and that is the difference between him and other centre-backs.”
Saturday was also a special night for Jordan Henderson, who scored his first England goal on his 62nd cap.