Harry Kane has hailed Harry Maguire as ‘one of England’s best ever defenders’, as he named the Manchester United centre-back in a list of the best players he has played alongside.
Maguire held down a place in the England team despite dropping out of Erik ten Hag’s Manchester United for much of last season, sparking a big debate over his future at international level.
While Maguire was named in the Euro 2020 team of the tournament after some impressive performances for the Three Lions, he has come under fire from England fans both inside stadiums and on social media despite his solid displays on the international stage.
He had returned to the United first team in recent weeks and remains a key part of the England set-up, despite the high-profile mistakes he has made in United colours.
Now England captain Kane has suggested the criticism Maguire has received has been misplaced, as he spoke exclusively to Planet Football in his role as an owner and brand ambassador of Our Pure Planet, the headphone and electronics company producing products that have zero carbon impact.
“Harry has been one of England’s best defenders, there’s no doubt about that,” Bayern Munich striker Kane told us as he spoke about Maguire.
“People are entitled to their opinions and people get carried away with some of the stuff they put on social media these days, but H is a strong character and from an England point of view we have no doubt that he will perform. Everyone in that squad knows how important Harry is to us.”
Kane’s admiration of Maguire was confirmed when we asked him to top a dream team of players he has played alongside, with some interesting names making his list.
It’s a little too soon for any of his new Bayern Munich team-mates to make it into Kane’s five-a-side line-up, with a mix of Tottenham and England stars making the cut.
“Sonny (Son Heung-min) and Gareth Bale would be the two attackers in there, with Wayne Rooney in the mix as well,” added Kane.
“I’d have Joe Hart as my keeper, even though I’ve played with some great keepers in my time.
“Defending wise, I have been luck to play with some great players. Maguire has been fantastic for England and I would have him in there.
“Then to the midfield, you look at Jude Bellingham, who have been fantastic. Dele Alli would also be in there as he was fantastic at Tottenham.
“Maybe I could have a couple of players on the bench to make sure I don’t miss too many out.”
Aside from Bellingham, all of the players Kane picked out among the best he has played with have come under fire from social media snipers and the mainstream media at some stages of their careers.
Yet his selections confirm respect within the game is bestowed with a little more clarity than it may be from those looking in from the outside.
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