Gareth Southgate has revealed that Harry Maguire remains doubtful for England’s Euro 2020 opener against Croatia on 13 June and possibly beyond, despite being selected in the Three Lions squad.
The Manchester United captain missed the end of the Premier League season and the Europa League final with an ankle injury, sparking fears that he would not be fit for the tournament. Liverpool skipper Jordan Henderson has also been a doubt in recent weeks, having not played since February due to a groin problem.
In the end both players were included in England’s 26-man squad, although Southgate was quick to acknowledge that the pair are still some way off being fully fit.
Asked about Maguire’s progress, he said: “We know exactly where he’s at. Our medical team have been over with him in Manchester. He hasn’t travelled over to us yet because of the quarantine issues coming back from Poland. So he’s got a bit to do, he’s like Hendo.
“They’ve both got a bit to do, really, to be available. But we feel the possibility that they can play a part and they’re such fantastic characters to have around the group. Given that we were allowed to pick 26, we felt that the opportunity to have those two with us was a straightforward one really.”
Southgate went on to reveal that he expects Henderson to feature in the warm-up game against Austria on Wednesday. His prognosis on Maguire was more gloomy with the Three Lions boss admitting it would be ‘tight’ for the defender to make his side’s tournament opener against the nation that defeated England in the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup.
If Maguire is not declared fit, it is expected that England will move to a back three to provide added defensive solidity. John Stones, Conor Coady and Tyrone Mings would all be contenders to start, although one or both of Kyle Walker and Reece James could also slot in if required.