Man Utd’s Maguire named in England squad despite arrest


London (AFP) – Harry Maguire was on Tuesday named in England’s squad for their Nations League matches against Iceland and Denmark despite the Manchester United captain’s arrest on assault charges in Greece.

The defender, 27, was arrested late Thursday after a fight with another group at a nightclub in Mykonos and spent two nights in custody.

Maguire has flown back to England, but his trial went ahead in his absence on Tuesday. He denies the charges.

England manager Gareth Southgate opted to stand by the centre-back, including him in the squad that will play the Nations League matches next month.

Southgate has previously shown his willingness to get tough with misbehaving players, dropping Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling after he clashed with Liverpool’s Joe Gomez in a training ground dispute. 

Maguire, who has 26 England caps, became the world’s most expensive defender following his £80 million ($105 million) move from Leicester last year.

England have not played since November 2019, when a 4-0 win in Kosovo concluded their Euro 2020 qualification campaign.

Southgate’s side face Iceland in Reykjavik on September 5 before playing Denmark in Copenhagen on September 8.

Maguire’s off-field issues overshadowed first call-ups for talented youngsters Phil Foden, Mason Greenwood and Kalvin Phillips.

Foden, 20, has emerged as a future star in Manchester City’s midfield, while the goals of 18-year-old striker Greenwood were key to Manchester United qualifying for next season’s Champions League.

Phillips’ mature displays in midfield helped Leeds win promotion from the Championship last season.

There was also a place in the squad for Southampton striker Danny Ings, who enjoyed a prolific campaign with 25 goals in all competitions and made his only previous England appearance in 2015.

Southgate picked players from City and United despite their European campaigns only ending this month, including Sterling, Marcus Rashford and Kyle Walker.

Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson was absent after missing the last four games of the Premier League season with a knee injury, while Ben Chilwell, Luke Shaw, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and James Maddison are also sidelined after ending the campaign with injuries.

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