Shearer warns England against Man Utd defender Maguire 'gamble'

Former England captain Alan Shearer believes Gareth Southgate would be taking a huge ‘gamble’ were he to include Manchester United defender Harry Maguire in his World Cup squad.

The Three Lions manager will name his squad for the tournament in Qatar on Thursday, and the Reds captain is facing an anxious wait to see if he is included.

Maguire has endured a difficult season so far, which has led Shearer to suggest that it would be a risk to pick the 29-year-old.

Shearer told The Athletic: “It’s not just about questionable fitness – it’s about form, too. With Kyle Walker it’s fitness, with Harry Maguire it’s form and a lack of game time – one start in the league for Manchester United since August.

“Maguire has barely been playing, while his performance in England’s 3-3 draw with Germany in the Nations League draw back in September hardly inspired confidence. Picking him in your starting XI would represent a huge gamble, but the problem is that Maguire is not an isolated example. There is a wider feeling of rustiness and insecurity. I suspect Gareth will go with three at the back. I wouldn’t; I’d go with four.”