Southgate explains decision to pick 'fantastic character' Maguire

By Sports Desk August 25, 2020

Gareth Southgate decided to include Harry Maguire in his England squad after hearing the Manchester United captain's version of the events that led to him standing trial in Greece.

Maguire was a subject of court proceedings on the Greek island of Syros on Tuesday, following his alleged part in an altercation with police while on holiday in Mykonos.

The 27-year-old spent last Thursday and Friday night in custody and denies all charges. He had the chance to speak to Southgate before being selected for next month's Nations League encounters with Iceland and Denmark.

The England manager hailed his first-choice central defender as "an outstanding character" within the national team set-up, and said he had no reason to doubt Maguire's account of last week's incident.

"It's clearly a decision that is not straightforward and a decision that, in the end, I can only take on the information I have," Southgate told a news conference.

"I've spoken with Harry, I have insight to the story which is very different to what's been reported.

"In these instances, you can only make decisions based on facts that you're aware of. Now, clearly, if facts or information change further down the line, I have to review that decision.

"I have a fantastic relationship with the boy. Harry has been an outstanding character for us.

"I have no reason to doubt what he is telling me. It's important he knows that he's got my support at this moment."

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