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Struggling Man Utd star Harry Maguire too important to be rested for club or country despite crisis, says Southgate

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struggling man utd star harry maguire too important to be rested for club or country despite crisis says southgate

GARETH SOUTHGATE is adamant Harry Maguire is too important to be rested for either club or country – despite his alarming confidence crisis.

The Manchester United skipper was sent off after half an hour of England’s 1-0 defeat by Denmark on Wednesday for two desperate challenges.

Gareth Southgate has urged Ole Gunnar Solskjaer not to drop Harry Maguire despite his horror run of form

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Gareth Southgate has urged Ole Gunnar Solskjaer not to drop Harry Maguire despite his horror run of formCredit: Rex Features

And since being jailed while on holiday in Mykonos in August, Maguire has suffered shockers in United’s home defeats by Crystal Palace and Tottenham.

Yet England boss Southgate remains convinced the defender must carry on playing for England, while believing he is also undroppable at Old Trafford.

Southgate said: “My view would be that you’ve got to play your way through these moments.

“Harry is too important a player for them and us to think about resting him but that would be for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his staff to make those decisions.”



Southgate backed Maguire to the hilt following his arrest while on holiday in Greece in August – naming him in his squad for three September internationals.

The England manager then had to dump him hours later, when he was convicted of assaulting a police officer, resisting arrest and attempted bribery.

Yet when Maguire appealed – and was seen as innocent in the eyes of the law, with a future retrial likely – there were serious discussions about recalling the 2018 World Cup hero, with concerns about the lack of defensive depth.

Southgate was buoyed by the performances of Conor Coady and Tyrone Mings at the heart of defence after Maguire’s red card against the Danes.

Maguire was sent-off against Denmark in his latest horror show

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Maguire was sent-off against Denmark in his latest horror showCredit: PA:Press Association

He also rates Liverpool’s Joe Gomez and Spurs’ Eric Dier, with Kyle Walker impressing in a back three in the 2-1 win over Belgium.

Yet still the England boss insists Maguire, 27, cannot be rested for key fixtures.

Southgate’s loyalty seems excessive given Maguire’s current form.

Perhaps the fact he is captain of United and the world’s most expensive defender at £85million can blind people into believing Maguire is a better player than he is.

More likely, his leadership qualities – uncommon in the modern game – are treasured.

Yet there is no point in being a ‘leader’ if you are going to commit a borderline red-card offence within five minutes, followed by a clear second booking, in an attempt to recover from a mistake.

That was the sum total of Maguire’s contribution against Denmark and all of his qualities as a motivator and a great ‘team man’ are irrelevant if he cannot perform his basic defensive duties.

Gareth Southgate reacts to Harry Maguire and Reece James red cards

This post first appeared on thesun.co.uk

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Manchester City: Pep Guardiola reveals club couldn’t afford a new striker this summer

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manchester city pep guardiola reveals club couldnt afford a new striker this summer

Pep Guardiola has admitted Manchester City could not afford to buy another striker in the summer transfer window.

The City boss revealed he wanted to bring in another forward of Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus‘ calibre but conceded that the club would need to break the bank to do so.

Lionel Messi was linked with a sensational summer move to the Etihad after the Barcelona talisman declared his intention to quit the club.

Pep Guardiola has admitted that Manchester City could not afford a new striker this summer

Pep Guardiola has admitted that Manchester City could not afford a new striker this summer

Pep Guardiola has admitted that Manchester City could not afford a new striker this summer

However, a reunion with Guardiola fell through which has now left the Spaniard with no other options.

Now with Aguero and Jesus both facing spells on the sidelines with muscle injuries, Guardiola has revealed how he wanted to strengthen at striker but didn’t have the funds to do so. 

‘We considered it, we thought about another but we could not,’ Guardiola said. 

‘I think the club do what they can, it’s not a club that wants revenues at the end of the year – it’s what they want and what’s best for the team.

City believed they were favourites to sign Barca talisman Lionel Messi but a move fell through

City believed they were favourites to sign Barca talisman Lionel Messi but a move fell through

City believed they were favourites to sign Barca talisman Lionel Messi but a move fell through

‘If you decide to buy a striker, it has to be a striker in the league of Gabriel and Sergio but we cannot afford it. That is the reality.

‘I’m not saying the club didn’t want to do it – they wanted to make as strong a team as possible. But we thought: “OK, Sergio is back.” We didn’t expect Gabriel to be injured, sometimes it happens.’

Ahead of their Champions League clash on Tuesday, Guardiola and Co arrived in Marseille with no striker, with teenager Liam Delap ineligible to play in the competition.

Guardiola went on to reveal that Aguero could be out for a month after he picked up a muscle strain during Saturday’s draw with West Ham.

‘With Sergio’s injury, 10-15 days is the minimum,’ Guardiola added. ‘If it’s a little bit longer it will be three weeks, one month. The muscular ones normally do not move [beyond] these [parameters]. Sergio will be the same, there will be no exception.’ 

Sergio Aguero picked up a muscle injury against West Ham and could be out for a month

Sergio Aguero picked up a muscle injury against West Ham and could be out for a month

Sergio Aguero picked up a muscle injury against West Ham and could be out for a month

Gabriel Jesus is still sidelined and Liam Delap remains ineligible for the Champions League

Gabriel Jesus is still sidelined and Liam Delap remains ineligible for the Champions League

Gabriel Jesus is still sidelined and Liam Delap remains ineligible for the Champions League

He insisted that Aguero was not rushed back last week, with the forward breaking down midway through his third consecutive start at the London Stadium following four months out with a meniscus problem.

‘We were incredibly patient,’ the Catalan said. ‘We didn’t force him. Unfortunately he was unlucky in one action.

‘Everyone got the statistics than in the Premier League, we have 47 per cent more muscular injuries than the same period last season. It’s not just about City.

‘In just a few months arrive in November, December, January and I guess it will be the same. The strongest ones will survive, the others will fall down.’ 

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Inter Milan: Antonio Conte insists Romelu Lukaku still has room for improvement

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inter milan antonio conte insists romelu lukaku still has room for improvement

Antonio Conte has laid down the gauntlet for the in-form Romelu Lukaku, insisting he needs even more from his star striker in order for him to one day be considered one of the greats.

Lukaku enjoyed one of the most successful debut seasons ever in European football  history during the last campaign in which he swapped Manchester United for Inter Milan, scoring 34 goals in all competitions to become the first Inter star to do so in a maiden season since Ronaldo.

Beginning the current campaign in sizzling form Lukaku has six goals in seven games – leading his agent to label him the best striker on the planet right now – but Conte is still in search of more.

Antonio Conte says Romelu Lukaku has improved but must still step up his game to be a great

Antonio Conte says Romelu Lukaku has improved but must still step up his game to be a great

Antonio Conte says Romelu Lukaku has improved but must still step up his game to be a great

‘They [Lukaku and Martinez] made huge improvements and they can become even more important for the team,’ Conte told reporters during his pre-Champions League press conference on Monday.

‘In order to compare them with other [great strikers] at European level, we need to win, it’s the only way to carve out an important place in Europe.’

Lukaku scored 34 in his debit season with Inter and already has six from seven this campaign

Lukaku scored 34 in his debit season with Inter and already has six from seven this campaign

Lukaku scored 34 in his debit season with Inter and already has six from seven this campaign

Conte’s rallying words for Lukaku stand in quite stark contrast to the Belgian’s agent, who has already declared his client as the best striker on the planet right now.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Federico Pastorello said: ‘Romelu is a modern player and a sensitive person. 

‘He needs love, when he feels everyone’s affection he really becomes the best the market can offer, even if Inter obviously do not intend to sell him. In terms of quality, attitude and mentality, he is currently the best striker in the world.’

Pastorello has also turned the knife when it comes to Lukaku’s former club United, implying the Belgian is much more appreciated in Italy. 

‘His transfer to Italy was the right decision and the best choice for him. Inter are a great family and the fans are completely crazy about him.’ he added.

Conte feels Lukaku and strike partner Lautaro Martinez (right) need to help the team win more

Conte feels Lukaku and strike partner Lautaro Martinez (right) need to help the team win more

Conte feels Lukaku and strike partner Lautaro Martinez (right) need to help the team win more

Inter return to action this week when they face Ukrainan outfit Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League.

Shakhar enter the fixture as top of the group after pulling off a shock opening match victory over Spanish giants Real Madrid.

Inter meanwhile have just a point to their name after drawing 2-2 with Borussia Monchengladbach, courtesy of a Lukaku brace. 

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Liverpool announce AXA will sponsor their new training ground at Kirkby

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liverpool announce axa will sponsor their new training ground at kirkby

Liverpool have revealed their new £50million training facility in Kirkby will be sponsored by AXA as the club showed a glimpse of their new home.

The French insurance company already sponsor the Reds’ training kit and have now extended their partnership to include the state-of-the-art training ground, which will be named the AXA Training Centre. It is the first time Liverpool have had a training ground naming partner.

The Premier League champions released a video of the new base alongside the agreement on Tuesday morning as the finishing touches are added to the complex.

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34891922 0 image a 10 1603788560215

Liverpool have revealed their new £50m training facility in Kirkby will be sponsored by AXA 

The club showed a glimpse of their new home as they announced the agreement on Tuesday

The club showed a glimpse of their new home as they announced the agreement on Tuesday

The club showed a glimpse of their new home as they announced the agreement on Tuesday

Jurgen Klopp's office at the new hub, with a balcony overlooking the outdoor pitches

Jurgen Klopp's office at the new hub, with a balcony overlooking the outdoor pitches

Jurgen Klopp’s office at the new hub, with a balcony overlooking the outdoor pitches

The Reds showed off the three full-size pitches, goalkeeping and warm-up areas as well as sports hall in the brief look at the training hub.

The AXA Training Centre also has two gyms, a swimming pool, hydrotherapy and sports rehabilitation facilities.  

Liverpool are gearing up for moving into their new home in November following delays to the construction due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The insurance company already sponsor Reds' training kit and have now extended partnership

The insurance company already sponsor Reds' training kit and have now extended partnership

The insurance company already sponsor Reds’ training kit and have now extended partnership

A brief look at the nutritional facilities was shown in the clip posted by Liverpool on Tuesday

A brief look at the nutritional facilities was shown in the clip posted by Liverpool on Tuesday

A brief look at the nutritional facilities was shown in the clip posted by Liverpool on Tuesday

Liverpool were due to move training bases at end of last season but construction was delayed

Liverpool were due to move training bases at end of last season but construction was delayed

Liverpool were due to move training bases at end of last season but construction was delayed

The finishing touches are being added to the state-of-the art facility in Kirkby, Merseyside

The finishing touches are being added to the state-of-the art facility in Kirkby, Merseyside

The finishing touches are being added to the state-of-the art facility in Kirkby, Merseyside

Klopp's Premier League champions nd the club's Under 23s will train at the new complex

Klopp's Premier League champions nd the club's Under 23s will train at the new complex

Klopp’s Premier League champions nd the club’s Under 23s will train at the new complex

Jurgen Klopp’s side and the club’s Under 23s were originally set to make the transition from Melwood, where they have been located for 70 years, at the end of last season but the teams will now switch next month.  

‘The expansion of AXA’s partnership to include the naming rights of the club’s new Training Centre makes perfect sense,’ Liverpool FC’s chief executive officer Billy Hogan said.

‘We have already seen their emphasis on driving health, well-being, confidence and self-belief, and so deepening their relationship in the field of training makes this partnership a great fit.

‘We’re pleased to have AXA on board as we start this new chapter at the club and are proud to expand our relationship with a brand that shares our common values and aspirations both on and off the pitch.’

The Premier League champions will move into their new home from Melwood in November

The Premier League champions will move into their new home from Melwood in November

The Premier League champions will move into their new home from Melwood in November

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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