Disconnect between club and country could cause headache for England

England boss Gareth Southgate recently named his 33-man provisional squad for Euro 2020 which is set to kick off in just a few week’s time. Many were happy with the initial inclusion of Trent Alexander-Arnold amongst many other expect names the likes of John Stones, Kyle Walker, Jordan Henderson, Marcus Rashford, and Harry Kane. But there is still uncertainty around the status of key center-back and Manchester United stalwart Harry Maguire as the Red Devils prepare to clash with Unai Emery’s Villarreal in the Europa League final in Gdańsk tomorrow evening.

Maguire will not feature for Ole Gunnar Solskjær‘s men against their Andalusian counterparts at the Polsat Plus Arena Gdańsk, but little has been uncovered about the Sheffield-native’s status beyond his unavailability on Wednesday evening.

Southgate not kept up to speed but is sympathetic despite England squad concerns

“We had an initial assessment of Maguire, which was positive in terms of the tournament, but there was always a little bit more swelling and further investigation needed. Of course, when you’ve got a European final and information for the opposition is so tight, and things do leak, I understand why clubs want to keep their cards close to their chest. It’s made it a little bit more difficult for us but I don’t have a problem with Manchester United at all.” – Gareth Southgate via Times sport.

It is always a difficult proposition when factoring in relationships between clubs and the national team, especially when a major tournament is on the horizon for England. With expectations around the Three Lions exceeding the 2018 World Cup in Russia on the back of impressive attacking options, Maguire will unquestionably be one of the first names on the team sheet if he regains fitness either before – or during – the tournament. But with the need for the 33-man provisional squad to be trimmed down to twenty-six before the tournament kicks-off on June 11th with Turkey and Italy clashing in Rome, the margins are paper-thin when it comes to whether or not Southgate will be placed into a position where he may have to gamble on Maguire coming good on his recovery.

Though sympathetic to Solskjær’s need to keep his tactical plans under lock and key in the run-up to proceedings in the Polish port city, a player of Maguire’s importance to the England team is not easily replaced should it turn out that he will not be able to partake over the summer. Maguire was superb for the Three Lions during England’s campaign in Russia, featuring prominently at the heart of the English defense while also opening the scoring in their 2-0 quarterfinals win against Sweden. That same level of contribution would certainly add that much more potency to England’s arguments that they are capable of walking away winners this summer, though if unavailable in the end, one of Tyrone Mings, Conor Coady, Ben White, or Ben Godfrey would have massive shoes to fill in his stead.