England fans dream of World Cup glory after Maguire training clip

Conor Coady backs Harry Maguire

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After a disappointing 12 months at Manchester United, Harry Maguire appears to have rediscovered his confidence and passion for football with England after he was named in Gareth Southgate’s World Cup squad. Fans think the England international has entered World Cup mode after producing some sublime skill in training that left his team-mates stunned.

The 29-year-old has endured a tough period at Old Trafford after dropping out of the starting XI under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick. It appeared he would get a fresh start under Erik ten Hag, but some individual errors from Maguire – coupled with the arrival of Lisandro Martinez – saw him lose his place in the Dutchman.

However, despite only starting five Premier League games for United, Maguire has been virtually assured of his place under Southgate due to his previous form and leadership, notably during England’s World Cup run to the semi-finals in 2018.

Maguire’s form there contributed to earning a world-record £80million move to United the following summer after producing a series of impressive displays. And ahead of the winter tournament in Qatar, which starts on Sunday, fans think Maguire is re-entering his peak level.

In footage released from England’s training session on Saturday, Maguire could be seen producing some silky footwork against his England team-mate Phil Foden as they trained in sweltering temperatures at their Al Wakrah training base.

He picked up the ball and instead of passing it onto a team-mate, the centre-back channelled his inner Zinedine Zidane by performing a brilliant pirouette and keeping the ball in his feet after avoiding the challenge.

Maguire then set his sights on goal, only to be denied by Nick Pope in between the sticks, before play then continued. But his efforts did not go unnoticed, with fans making their praise known on social media.

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One Twitter user, @mrworrall, wrote: “We are going to win the World Cup”, while another – @GodwinMFC – raved about Maguire’s skillset: “Now it makes sense why United put him upfront the other week.”

Another tweeter @DaddyKampf said: “He’s been a striker the whole time”, as @ssonkohassan2 said Maguire’s trick reminded him of his previous form: “That’s the Maguire of Leicester City,” they wrote on Twitter.

Maguire is expected to be named in Southgate’s starting XI against Iran on Monday and, after conjuring moves like that in training, it is no surprise Southgate has chosen to back the defender.

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