Giorgio Chiellini has leapt to the defence of Harry Maguire, claiming the Manchester United captain is a “good player” with an unfortunate price tag.
WHAT HAPPENED? The England international became the most expensive defender on the planet when completing an £80 million ($91m) transfer from Leicester to Old Trafford in 2019. He has struggled to live up to that big billing at times, with stints on the bench taken in this season, but Italy icon Chiellini believes the 29-year-old has become the subject of unfair criticism.
WHAT THEY SAID: Euro 2020 winner Chiellini, who retired from international duty with 117 caps to his name back in April, has told The Times of a fellow centre-half: “I am sad for Maguire’s situation because he is a good player. They require too much of him. Just because they paid £80million 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.
“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. 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 in the team.”