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Giorgio Chiellini defends Harry Maguire after Manchester United axe

Giorgio Chiellini says he feels SORRY for Harry Maguire because Man United are ‘demanding too much from him just because they paid £80m.’

  • Harry Maguire lost his Man United place after a poor start to the season
  • Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez quickly formed a good partnership
  • Gareth Southgate has kept faith with Maguire in his latest England squad
  • The Italian great Giorgio Chiellini has jumped to the defense of his fellow defender
  • Chiellini says it’s not Maguire’s fault he’s saddled with an £80m price tag
  • Click here for all the latest World Cup 2022 news and updates
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Under pressure Harry Maguire has found an unlikely ally in Italy great Giorgio Chiellini, who believes too much is being expected of the England defender.

Maguire has lost his place in Manchester United’s defense following early season struggles, with manager Erik ten Hag sacking his captain to form a partnership between Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez.

However, the 29-year-old, who is regularly the target of criticism from fans, has the confidence of England boss Gareth Southgate and was included in the latest squad despite losing his United place.

Harry Maguire lost his place in the Manchester United defense after a poor start to the season
Harry Maguire lost his place in the Manchester United defense after a poor start to the season

Harry Maguire lost his place in the Manchester United defense after a poor start to the season

But the England defender has found an ally in Italian defensive legend Giorgio Chiellini
But the England defender has found an ally in Italian defensive legend Giorgio Chiellini

But the England defender has found an ally in Italian defensive legend Giorgio Chiellini

Chiellini and Maguire - and Raheem Sterling - compete for the ball during the Euro 2020 final
Chiellini and Maguire - and Raheem Sterling - compete for the ball during the Euro 2020 final

Chiellini and Maguire – and Raheem Sterling – compete for the ball during the Euro 2020 final

And veteran defender Chiellini, who retired from international football after this summer’s Finalissima against Argentina, has come to Maguire’s defence.

“I am sad about Maguire’s situation because he is a good player,” Chiellini said The times.

‘They demand too much of him. Just because they paid £80m for him, he has to be the best in the world every game? That is not correct.

‘The value of the market depends on many aspects you cannot control. It’s not your fault.

‘Him and [John] The Stones are a good duo. OK, Maguire might not be Rio Ferdinand, but he’s good enough.

‘With this situation it doesn’t help [England] to do the best. If you want to win the World Cup, it’s impossible to do it with some problems in the key players and for sure Maguire is one of the key players in the team.’

New United manager Erik ten Hag backed his captain during pre-season but then dropped him
New United manager Erik ten Hag backed his captain during pre-season but then dropped him

New United manager Erik ten Hag backed his captain during pre-season but then dropped him

Maguire retains England manager Gareth Southgate's confidence with the World Cup ahead
Maguire retains England manager Gareth Southgate's confidence with the World Cup ahead

Maguire retains England manager Gareth Southgate’s confidence with the World Cup ahead

Maguire is likely to be involved when England face Italy in the UEFA Nations League at Milan’s San Siro on Friday night.

The Three Lions complete their Nations League group at home to Germany on Monday night and realistically need to win both games to avoid relegation to League B in the competition.

Chiellini, 38, captained Italy to glory at last year’s European Championship when they defeated England on penalties at Wembley.

He left Juventus during the summer to join Major League Soccer team Los Angeles FC, helping them win the Western Conference by a significant margin.

Chiellini, 38, left Juventus to join Major League Soccer side Los Angeles FC this summer
Chiellini, 38, left Juventus to join Major League Soccer side Los Angeles FC this summer

Chiellini, 38, left Juventus to join Major League Soccer side Los Angeles FC this summer

Maguire started United’s first two games of the season, but a 2-1 home loss to Brighton and a 4-0 thrashing at Brentford saw him lose his place.

Ten Hag’s side subsequently won their next four Premier League games with a central defensive partnership between Varane and Martinez.

Maguire played in the UEFA Europa League group opener against Real Sociedad, which United lost 1–0, before returning to the bench for the 2–0 win over Moldovan side FC Sheriff.

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