'Maguire isn't Rio Ferdinand but he's a good player' - Chiellini feels 'sad' for £80m Man Utd defender
- Red Devils skipper struggling for form
- Boasts a record-setting price tag
- Has the support of a Italy legend
WHAT HAPPENED? The England international became the most expensive defender on the planet when completing an £80 million ($91m) transfer from Leicester to Old Trafford in 2019. He has struggled to live up to that big billing at times, with stints on the bench taken in this season, but Italy icon Chiellini believes the 29-year-old has become the subject of unfair criticism.
WHAT THEY SAID: Euro 2020 winner Chiellini, who retired from international duty with 117 caps to his name back in April, has told The Times of a fellow centre-half: “I am sad for Maguire's situation because he is a good player. They require too much of him. Just because they paid £80million for him, he has to be the best in the world every match? It's not right. The value of the market is dependent on many aspects you can't control. It's not your fault.
“Him and [John] Stones are a good duo. OK, Maguire maybe is not Rio Ferdinand but he's good enough. With this situation it's not helping [England] to do the best. If you want to win the World Cup, it's impossible to do it with some problems in the key players, and for sure Maguire is one of the key players in the team.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Maguire was dropped by United after they opened the 2022-23 Premier League campaign with back-to-back defeats against Brighton and Brentford.
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WHAT NEXT FOR MAGUIRE? While short on minutes and form at club level, Maguire could see game time for his country this week as England will be back in UEFA Nations League action against Italy on Friday – before then taking on Germany next Monday.