England manager Gareth Southgate says the Three Lions’ medical team is ‘pleased’ with Harry Maguire’s progress, as he races to be fit for the Euro 2020 opener against Croatia.
The 28-year-old picked up an ankle injury in Manchester United’s win against Aston Villa on 9 May, and had to sit out the remainder of the Red Devils’ season – including the loss to Villarreal in the Europa League final.
Question marks remain over whether he will be fully fit in time to start in England’s backline for the Euro 2020 tournament this summer. but England boss Southgate has spoken positively over Maguire’s chances of making a return for the opening fixture with Croatia on June 13, claiming that the medical team are pleased’ with his recovery and that he should be available.
“It’s when he can slot back into the group & progress him… I’ve picked a squad on the basis if we didn’t have him, we have players to come. If he’s fit and available for us, that’s a bonus for us,” Southgate told the media, quoted by the Mirror.
“With any injury it’s important to predict 100%. The medical team are pleased with his progress, especially the last couple of days.
“We know there’s always that risk but all of the guide is that he should be available.”
Southgate also spoke about the thigh injury sustained by Trent Alexander-Arnold, which forced the Liverpool star to withdraw from the squad. The England boss was encouraged that the injury was less severe than first expected, although he feels deeply for the defender – who will be able to take no part in the Euro 2020 adventure.
“The one thing I was pleased about is that immediately after the game, I didn’t like the look of the injury,” Southgate remarked. “At least it sounds as though Trent should be fine for pre-season and for next season.
“So that is a small – very small – positive in the situation. Of course, he was very upset, bitterly disappointed. In those moments everybody is thinking about him. It’s heartbreaking, really, for any player to get to the eve of a major tournament, be named in the squad, and then miss out through injury.
“You know how rare these opportunities are – even though he’s a young player who’s going to have those opportunities again. It’s a really difficult moment for him especially. It’s a big disappointment for us of course, as well.
“But you can’t help but first and foremost feel for Trent in this situation.”