Manchester United captain Harry Maguire has faced further negative judgement at the World Cup in reference to a game he wasn’t even involved in.
Maguire has been in the firing line over the past couple of years. He joined Man Utd from Leicester City in 2019 as the most expensive defender in history. After some promising early signs, he went on to become club captain.
However, his form in the past couple of seasons has deteriorated. This season, he hasn’t been handed as many starts by Erik ten Hag. Instead, the new Man Utd boss has preferred to use Raphael Varane and summer signing Lisandro Martinez.
Even so, Maguire enjoys a different experience at international level. Having earned a place in England’s World Cup squad, he started all three of their group matches, in which they kept two clean sheets.
But Maguire has still been the subject of scrutiny – not necessarily for his performances in Qatar, but his 2022 form in general.
Bizarrely, he was recently namechecked in derogatory fashion during a political debate in Ghana.
Now, there has been another instance of Maguire being referred to in a negative light to illustrate another’s shortcomings.
On Thursday, Germany were eliminated from the World Cup after finishing behind Japan and Spain in their group, despite beating Costa Rica in their final match.
There will be many questions for the DFB to address after their team failed to meet expectations. In turn, some of their players are going to be under the radar.
Germany defender criticised with Harry Maguire comparison
One who has been called out by a former professional already is Niklas Sule – who has been mentioned in the same breath as Maguire.
Former Netherlands international Rafael van der Vaart told NOS Journaal: “Germany have a problem in defence.
“Niklas Sule is not world class. He is the German Harry Maguire.”
Sule started all three of Germany’s group matches, in a defence that also featured the likes of former Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger.
He joined Borussia Dortmund in the summer after five years with Bayern Munich. The former Hoffenheim man has plenty of pedigree, as evidenced by his 45 caps for his country.
Perceptions can change quickly in football, though. So, the 27-year-old – who was previously linked with the likes of Newcastle, Chelsea and even Man Utd themselves – may have some doubters of his own to win over soon.
Maguire, for his part, will only be concentrating on himself and must not rise to any unwarranted digs.
He will be aware more than anyone that he hasn’t been up to standards for Man Utd. However, he tends to show a better side of himself with England, which is what matters in the present.
Maguire has made it into the knockout stage with his country, so is faring better than Sule in that regard.
His England side are next in action on Sunday when they face Senegal in the round of 16.
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