Manchester United captain Harry Maguire made his return from injury last night.
Maguire came back into the England team as they beat Czech Republic 1-0 at Wembley.
The win meant England topped Group D and Maguire showed what United were missing in their Europa League final loss last month.
Former Red Devils defender Gary Neville was also impressed and hailed Maguire’s performance speaking to Sky Sports.
“Maguire had to come in to have any chance of playing in the knockout phase,” said Neville.
“He is the most dominant centre-back we have; he’s authoritative, he’s very good on the ball. Maguire and John Stones together are a good pair and it was critical for Maguire to come back in last night.
“Tyrone Mings has done really well, but there was a level of order with Maguire on the ball. We’ve seen over the last 12 months with empty stadiums that he is vocal and will dig out his team-mates.
“Along with Harry Kane and Jordan Henderson, who isn’t playing all the time, Maguire is the figurehead on the pitch this England team needs. Maguire and Kyle Walker brought more leadership and maturity.”
It was like Maguire had never been away
There might have been concerns about rustiness with Maguire coming back having not played a single minute since being forced off at Aston Villa.
But he played like he’d never been away and England didn’t look in serious danger of conceding at any stage.
As per WhoScored, he had more touches – 81 – than any other player on either side last night.
Only United teammate Luke Shaw (3) made more interceptions in an England shirt than his two and his passing was assured, with a completion rate of over 87 per cent.
That bodes well for the knockout stages, where a clash with one of Europe’s biggest hitters lies in wait and England’s defence will get its sternest test of the tournament so far.
- Five substitutes rule change would benefit Manchester United whoever is in charge
- Manchester City out of Carabao Cup: Did Manchester United miss out or have lucky escape?
- Three steps Solskjaer can take to avoid bowing out like Jose Mourinho
- Manchester United’s players pictured back in training
- Raphael Varane’s possible return would be Manchester United’s best case scenario