Manchester United captain and England centre back Harry Maguire has been found guilty on charges of aggravated assault, resisting arrest and repeated attempts of bribery on the Greek island of Mykonos, and currently facing a suspended 21-month sentence. Following the said incident, England boss Gareth Southgate revealed that Maguire will be out of the team ahead of Nations League and Euro 2020.
Maguire was arrested last week along with two other defendants including his brother Joe, after a brawl over claims his sister was injected with a suspected “rape drug” outside a Mykonos bar. The 27-year-old was convicted of all the charges against him and the prison sentence of 21 months and 10 days is due to it being a first offence, while the charges were downgraded to misdemeanours.
He had initially been named in England’s squad for the Nations League September fixtures, including matches against Iceland and Denmark, Southgate announced after the verdict. “In light of this evening’s developments, I can confirm I have withdrawn Harry Maguire from the England squad for the matches against Iceland and Denmark,” Southgate said in a statement.
“As I said earlier today, I reserved the right to review the situation. Having spoken to Manchester United and the player, I have made this decision in the best interests of all parties and with consideration of the impact on our preparations for next week,” Southgate added. England play away to Iceland on September 5 and Denmark three days later as they begin their Nations League campaign.
Southgate has given first call-ups to Manchester City midfielder Phil Foden, Manchester United striker Mason Greenwood and Leeds midfielder Kalvin Phillips. Forward Danny Ings and goalkeeper Dean Henderson are also in the squad. Captain Harry Kane has been selected despite the Tottenham striker having been in quarantine following a trip to the Bahamas.
The Three Lions were set to play friendlies against Italy, Denmark, Austria and Romania during the first part of this year, but all matches were cancelled due to the threat of the coronavirus pandemic. They are set to have their first match at home against neighbours Wales in an international friendly in October. England’s last home game was the heavy 7-0 win against Montenegro in November 2019.
With Euro 2020 postponed for a year, Southgate has plenty of time to assemble the best team in UK. Over the years, England’s XI has always been a star studded squad as they recruit powerhouse players and some of the most important names in European football like Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford and Raheem Sterling. Maguire’s future in the first team is now in jeopardy following the recent incident.