GARETH SOUTHGATE has told Harry Maguire “don’t worry about your England future" despite the defender being dropped for Manchester United’s last three games.
The United captain has not featured for new boss Erik ten Hag after the Red Devils suffered a 4-0 drubbing at the hands of Brentford.
He remains captain at Old Trafford but faces a fight to get back into the team after ten Hag favoured Raphael Varane and new signing Lisandro Martinez at the heart of his defence.
But two separate sources have told The Sun on Sunday that Three Lions boss Southgate has contacted Maguire, 29, to let him know he remains a key part of his plans ahead of the 2022 Qatar World Cup.
One source said: “Gareth has been in contact and assured him that he has a lot of credit in the bank with England thanks to his previous performances.
“Naturally he wants to play and is worried that not getting game time might affect his place in the England team ahead of the World Cup.
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"But he's spoken to Gareth who has told him he has no need to worry at the moment.
"He's been told there's enough credit in the bank with England because he has never let the national side down.
"For the time being at least, he's still firmly part of the manager’s plans for Qatar.
“Gareth reached out to give him reassurance in the hope it helps him concentrate on his training and his form so as and when ten Hag calls on him, he is in the right place to put in a good performance.”
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The Sun on Sunday understands Maguire has also been assured he has the confidence of ten Hag, who kept him as club captain despite the player enduring a difficult season last year.
And he is in line to make a return to the first team this week when United play their first Europa League game against Real Sociedad on Thursday.
The source said: “He is hopeful he will feature in United’s Europa League game this week against Real Sociedad.
“The coaches have been talking to him and have been looking at working on things that he can improve – body shape and positioning and speed in the first defensive moments.
“Harry has rolled his sleeves up and is getting stuck in. He’s straight forward in his approach and very much a team player.”
England face Italy on September 23 and then Germany three days later in the UEFA Nations League tournament.
The first World Cup fixture is against Iran on November 21.
Southgate has previously spoken in glowing terms of Maguire, who was the sole United representative in the squad for England’s recent summer internationals.
In May, the England boss said: "For me, he’s still their best centre-back. For us, with all our data across the season, he’s been the same. Although the perception is that he is at a certain level, he’s still among our top two or three.”
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