Harry Maguire has “eclipsed” Rio Ferdinand and John Terry with his England performances, according to Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher.
The former Three Lions centre-back has praised the Manchester United defender after proving his worth in all three of his Euro 2020 appearances.
Maguire’s presence has helped England continue their record of no goals conceded at the tournament, unmatched by any other nation – helping break a European Championship record in the process.
Gareth Southgate had to wait on the Red Devils captain’s fitness before bringing him in for the final game of the group stage, keeping him in the starting XI since.
Stepping out from the back against the Czech Republic, commanding the rear guard as the Three Lions finally beat Germany and scoring in Saturday’s win over Ukraine, Maguire’s displays have been nothing short of imperious.
They understandably have Carragher impressed, too, and he waxed lyrical about the United man in his column for the Daily Telegraph .
“With respect to Maguire, he is not yet at the level of John Terry, Tony Adams, Rio Ferdinand and Sol Campbell,” the player-turned-pundit wrote.
“But Maguire’s displays at the 2018 World Cup and Euro 2020 have eclipsed those of illustrious England predecessors because he has the license to play in a manner two of the best – Terry and Ferdinand – never could for their country as they so often did for their club.”
Until missing his first Premier League matches since arriving at Old Trafford in August 2019 due to an ankle injury sustained in May, Maguire was an ever-present stalwart for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
The 28-year-old missed his club’s Europa League final defeat but is now back to his best for his country.
After a difficult first season at United, the former Hull City and Leicester City colossus went through a high-profile ordeal in Greece while on holiday last summer.
The Sheffield United academy product was found guilty of aggravated assault, resisting arrest and repeated attempts at bribery in a Greek court after a brawl outside a Mykonos club.
Maguire was given a suspended prison sentence of 21 months and 10 days, and the legal ramifications of an appeal are still believed to be rumbling on.
Carragher expressed public support for the Red Devils skipper 11 months ago and has now revealed a conversation he had with the England defender at the time.
“Knowing how much support is around you is appreciated in such a situation, I contacted Maguire,” said Carragher.
Is Maguire England’s most important defender? Comment below.
“We exchanged a few messages in which I tried to offer reassurance from my own experience of being thrust into the limelight for the wrong reasons.”
Carragher added: “I told him to keep his head up and said that the current difficulties would pass.”
Southgate himself praised Maguire post-match on Saturday, saying: “It’s brilliant to see how he has emerged with so much more confidence as a leader.
“You can see that within the group.
“Being captain of Manchester United is a massive challenge, a massive responsibility but it’s brought a lot more out of him.
“You can see he’s more confident in himself and has gone on to another level not just on his game but on his maturity.”
Maguire is set to once again line up for the Three Lions in their semi-final clash against Denmark at Wembley on Wednesday, the same stage the Three Lions fell at in 2018.