Harry Maguire’s dismal England showing has done little to stem the increasing scrutiny surrounding the Manchester United skipper.
After conceding 11 goals in their opening three games of the season, the United defence, including the £80million signing have come under intense pressure.
Many have speculated that Maguire’s downturn in form has coincided with his conviction for aggravated assault on Mykonos over the summer.
The 27-year-old has appealed against convictions for aggravated assault, resisting arrest and bribery following a brawl with police on the Greek island in August, and is awaiting the outcome of that legal process.
But if he was hoping the international fixtures would ease his woes, those thoughts were put to bed in 30 disastrous minutes for England at Wembley.
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After lunging late into two first-half challenges, referee Jesús Gil Manzano had little choice but to give the centre back his marching orders.
His rapid loss of form has led to question marks over his position at club level, with some believing a spell out of the side would help him.
However, a look at his comments earlier this season show the under-fire defender would rather prove his detractors wrong, on the pitch.
Prior to the 6-1 thrashing by Tottenham at the start of the month, Maguire was asked how he felt about the criticism of the back-four at Old Trafford.
“The only way you can respond is by proving them wrong on the pitch,” he told Sky Sports. “It’s quickly forgotten how many clean sheets we kept last season, I think we kept the most in Europe.
“We know we are going to come under scrutiny, we’re used to that. The only way we can respond to it, is proving them wrong on the pitch.”
And with fixtures against PSG and Chelsea on the very near horizon, Maguire said he was relishing the high-pressure matches, hinting he would rather find his form by playing the best opponents.
He added: “It’s so important, some big games, games you get excited for. You want to play in the big games, the pressure games. If you don’t you’re at the wrong club with Manchester United.”
It’s a sentiment that United legend Roy Keane agrees with, following the 1-0 defeat to Denmark he claimed Maguire “had to play”, but did worry about the lack of leadership to guide him through the process.
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He told ITV Sport: “The only downside for Maguire, at the moment, for me, he’s going back to a Man Utd team that’s not full of confidence. Certainly, the back four is not in great form.
“I’ve been in situations before, I’ve been in Harry’s situation, I’ve been in dressing rooms at Man United’s.
“But I was in dressing rooms with brilliant characters and brilliant leaders. So even if had done something silly or was having a hard time, on or off the pitch, I was going back into what I felt [was] the best dressing room in the world.
“Lads who would carry you through difficult spells. He’s not going to get that.
“He’s going back to Man United, he’s playing in the back four – I wouldn’t be anywhere near these lads. Because I don’t see them as leaders.”
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