AN INJURY to Harry Maguire would be a bigger blow to England than losing captain Harry Kane.
That was according to Gary Neville as some fans were left baffled by the bold claim.
The Sky Sports pundit went head to head with Jamie Carragher in a heated Three Lions debate on Monday Night Football.
And the ex-Manchester United man left fans baffled with his claims over which Harry is more valuable to Gareth Southgate.
Neville said: “If you lose Harry Maguire that’s a big problem for Gareth Southgate. I think it’s his biggest problem.
“If you’re then left with John Stones as your other centre-back and you think you’ve got Stones and (Tyrone) Mings, Stones and (Conor) Coady, Stones and (Eric) Dier – I’m not having it.”
Asked by Carragher if a Maguire injury would be more devastating than one for Kane with his 34 international goals, Neville reckoned so.
He added: “Harry Kane’s the best player in the squad but in this particular squad if Gareth wants a back four in the squad and go for a 4-3-3 formation, the only chance of that is keeping Harry Maguire fit.
“You always have to think if one player gets injured where do I then go to. If Harry Kane gets injured you could go with Marcus Rashford, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Raheem Sterling as a false forward or Phil Foden.
“There are options England can still win games. But with Maguire the ability to go to a back four is lost and that’s why he’s got a three in the back of his mind.
“I think Declan Rice being injured could be a problem. I’d go Maguire just because of the lack of depth behind him, Kane is the most important player.
“But the lack of depth behind Maguire as a dominant centre back is nil in my opinion. So Maguire, Kane then Rice are the key players you don’t want to get injured.
“If Sterling gets injured that would be a blow but Rashford, Greenwood, Sancho, Foden, Grealish can play in that position.”
Viewers on Twitter were quick to jump in with their opinions.
One said: “Kane is a million miles clear of any other player we have – we don’t get out of the group if Kane doesn’t play.
“Maguire is far easier replaced – hardly anyone even rates Maguire but Southgate’s job hinges on Kane.”
Another added: “Neville – this is bonkers. Maguire is at best a mediocre defender. At best. Kane is world class. Come on.”
But others saw the wisdom from the former right-back and agreed.
One person replied: “Coherent argument, people just don’t want to listen. Kane is obviously our best player.
“But we have an embarrassment of attacking riches, he isn’t as pivotal to the attack as Maguire is to the defence.”
And a final user commented: “Kane is literally world class, best in the world in his position but our CB options behind Maguire are literally atrocious for the top level we want to get to.”
Maguire, 28, has been virtually an ever-present player in the Manchester United defence since his 2019 transfer from Leicester.
He has featured for 90 minutes in all 68 Premier League matches and missed just nine out of 109 games in all competitions.
Kane, 27, is enjoying his first season since 2017-18 with no long-term major injuries.
The Tottenham striker missed the 1-0 defeats to Brighton and Chelsea earlier this year after suffering an ankle injury against Liverpool.
But despite initial fears, he made a repaid return to the side with a goal against West Brom ten days later.