England manager Gareth Southgate has opened up about why Manchester United defender Harry Maguire has been included in his latest England squad for their international games against Ukraine and Scotland.

Maguire has yet to start for United this season and his future has been called into question following links with West Ham United this summer.

The defender looked to be on the verge of departing Old Trafford but a disagreement about the payment of compensation that he was owed, according to The Guardian, has meant that the Englishman will seemingly stay in Manchester this summer.

There has been some criticism about why the former Leicester City defender has been included in Southgate’s squad but the England manager has given his reasons why Maguire has been included.

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‘We need that experience’

Speaking ahead of his side’s UEFA Euro 2024 qualifying games, Southgate has said that the experience that the 30-year-old defender will bring to the backline is invaluable to an England defence that has suffered injuries this season.

“With Harry (Maguire), we have lost a lot of experienced players in terms of international caps at centre-half,” Southgate said. “As a result, we are giving a lot of the more inexperienced players chances in the squad with the injuries to Tyrone Mings and John Stones.

“There is a space there in the middle of the defence and I think for these two games, we now have that experience with Harry in the centre of the pitch.

“It isn’t ideal that Harry or Kalvin (Phillips) aren’t starting games for their teams.”

Who else from United has been called up?

As well as Maguire, Marcus Rashford has been called up for England’s games next month. The Englishman has yet to register his first goal of the season, but he has been called up to the national team.

Rashford was superb against Nottingham Forest from the left as he made an assist and really should have been rewarded with another assist for his fine pass to Bruno Fernandes for Casemiro’s equaliser, but nevertheless, Rashford looked back to his best.

Erik ten Hag may well be rueing his luck as the winger will seemingly be risked in these friendlies, rather than resting up over the break, something that a few of the United players may well need.

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