When Gareth Southgate announced his latest England squad yesterday for the upcoming World Cup 2018 qualifiers against Malta and Slovakia, all the talk in the press was about Wayne Rooney’s retirement from the international game.
However, there has been one new inclusion to the setup that has gone under the radar somewhat. Leicester City’s Harry Maguire is in line to receive his first ever England cap in September in what has been a whirlwind few years for the central defender.
Born and bred in Sheffield he came through the academy at boyhood club Sheffield United and made his debut for the Blades whilst the club were going through some troubling times. In 2011 the club were in a relegation fight at the bottom of the Championship and made his debut in a home defeat to Cardiff. Despite the loss, Harry really made an impact being named Man of the Match.
The club slipped into League One, the lowest level of football they had played at for 23 years. The 2011/12 season saw Harry become a regular in the club’s back four and it was clear to see he was far too good for third tier football. Winning countless individual awards during his time with the club his inevitable move to a club in a higher division came in 2014 when he signed for Hull City.
The Premier League club unfortunately suffered relegation in his first season at the club but allowed him to force his way into the team in the Championship. Here, he helped them bounce back to the top flight in their first attempt and established himself as one of the best up and coming English defenders.
Hull again suffered a relegation but he was widely praised for his consistently high performances and leadership qualities as he regularly captained the side in the absence of regular skipper Curtis Davies. This earned him a move to Leicester City in June 2017 where he has started brightly scoring against Brighton on his home debut.
Harry’s excellent displays at the back have now earned him his first ever England call up. Manager Gareth Southgate said: “He’s a defender that’s very comfortable with the ball and he fits the profile of international football.
He’s already adjusted really well to being at a new club at Leicester City. He plays with great composure and it’s a really good opportunity for us to have a look at him around the senior squad.”
Having worked his way from third tier football to a national team call-up demonstrates how it is possible to achieve your dreams with hard work and a positive attitude.
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