GIORGIO CHIELLINI believes Harry Maguire is one of England’s key players and he revealed he feels sad for the Manchester United captain.
Maguire, 29, has come under huge criticism from United fans in recent months and was recently dropped from the side by Erik ten Hag.
But former Italy and Juventus star Chiellini believes Maguire has been treated harshly and should still be one of the first names on the teamsheet for England.
Reflecting on Maguire’s situation at United, Chiellini told The Times: “I am sad for Maguire’s situation because he is a good player.
“They require too much of him. Just because they paid £80 million for him, he has to be the best in the world every match? It’s not right.
“The value of the market is dependent on many aspects you can’t control. It’s not your fault.”
Chiellini knows what it takes to succeed at international level having won 117 caps for the Azzurri.
And as a fellow centre-back he can see the quality Maguire possesses, arguing he is being unfairly compared to a great of the past – Rio Ferdinand.
Chiellini added: “Him and [John] Stones are a good duo. OK, Maguire maybe is not Rio Ferdinand but he’s good enough.
“With this situation it’s not helping [England] to do the best.
Most read in Football
“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 of the team.”
But it is not just fans Maguire has to win over after losing his place in the Red Devils team.
Ten Hag has described Raphael Varane as the “leader” of his defence while pointing out how well he works with Lisandro Martinez.
Gareth Southgate has maintained his faith in Maguire however by including him in his latest squad, though Eric Dier could take his place in the side against Italy on Friday.