Manchester United defender Harry Maguire is still “one of the best defenders” in England despite his “unfortunate” own goal against Scotland, according to Aaron Ramsdale.
Maguire has come under constant criticism over the last couple of seasons at Man Utd with every little thing he does on a football pitch coming under intense scrutiny.
It has been on England duty where he’s been able to get a bit of respite from the criticism with the centre-back rarely letting down Gareth Southgate or his country.
England team-mate Ramsdale thinks the own goal was “unfortunate” and that Maguire is still “one of the best defenders” that the Three Lions can call upon.
When asked about Maguire, Ramsdale said: “I can sympathise with him in a way because I’ve been at the other end of the Premier League fighting to stay up, been relegated twice.
“When you’re in a period where crowds, pundits or fans, you’re under the microscope. Every little thing is analysed and detailed.
“If he was playing week in, week out, or if this noise wasn’t around and he scored an own goal it probably would have been brushed under the carpet.
“He’s tried to do the right thing, clear it, and it’s gone in. It’s unfortunate.
“But at the minute, because of his situation, people are over-hyping [saying], ‘he shouldn’t be playing, he shouldn’t be here’.
“And Harry Maguire, as we’ve seen over the past few years with England is one of the best defenders we’ve got.
“So strong mentally, got a great group of people around him, him and his family, and he knows his qualities. He’s always a threat in the box for set pieces, he knows he can defend, he knows he’s a leader.
“I love playing with him. Tonight was one of them unfortunate things which it goes in the back of the net, on another day it goes out for a throw or a corner.”
Southgate hit out at the level of criticism Maguire faces after the Man Utd defender was goaded every time he got the ball at Hampden Park with the England boss insisting it’s “beyond anything” he’s ever seen.
“From a Scotland fan’s point of view, I get it and I have absolutely no complaints with what they did,” Southgate said.
“It is a consequence of ridiculous treatment of him for a long period of time, frankly.
“I think our fans recognised ‘OK, there might be a bit of heat from our own supporters but we’re not going to have it from others getting into him’.
“But it’s a joke. I’ve never known a player treated the way he is – not by the Scottish fans, by our own commentators, pundits, whatever it is. They’ve created something that’s beyond anything I’ve ever seen.
“He’s been an absolute stalwart for us in the second most successful England team for decades. He’s been an absolutely key part of that. I’ve talked about the importance of our senior players. He’s been crucial amongst that.
“Every time he goes on the field, the resilience he shows, the balls he shows is absolutely incredible. He’s a top player and we’re all with him and our fans were brilliant with him tonight.”