Harry Kane calls Harry Maguire 'one of England's best ever defenders'

Harry Kane has passionately defended Harry Maguire, calling the Manchester United star ‘one of the best defenders in England’s history’.

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The striker’s comments came in a pre-match press conference ahead of Bayern Munich’s clash against United in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Maguire has been under intense scrutiny over the past two years, having struggled for form and game time at club level, with Erik ten Hag stripping him of the United captaincy over the summer.

The 30-year-old has also been on the end of horrific abuse from fans, with Three Lions manager Gareth Southgate recently launching an impassioned defense of his player during the September international break.

England captain Kane has now had his say on the centre-back’s treatment, praising him for his performances for his country that have helped them reach the final of Euro 2020 and the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup.

‘I think H [Maguire] has come under some unnecessary scrutiny,’ the Bayern striker said.

‘He has probably been scapegoated a bit. He is a really good friend of mine, a great guy and a really hard working professional.

‘He has been one of England’s best defenders over recent times and in England’s history.

‘It is part of football, you are scrutinised. Knowing him, he will just want to work hard and improve. We are fully behind him as a national team.’

Though he is not in Ten Hag’s first XI, Maguire may get the chance to play against Kane in Munich given how the Red Devils are struggling with defensive injuries and form, losing three of their opening five games of the season.

Asked if going up against his international teammate could actually make Maguire’s situation worse, given he has scored four goals in his first five Bayern games, Kane added: ‘We also sometimes play against friends, that’s football.

‘He’s a great guy and a great professional. Young players can take an example from him. If he plays tomorrow, the friendship will be set aside for 90 minutes.

‘They [United] have been going through a tough spell recently but sometimes that can make a team dangerous because they want to respond. We’re at home and want to control the game but we need to be careful of their threat. I don’t think about form because every game can be different.

‘There can be big response from teams going through a difficult spell but we need to start on the front foot. They are a threat on the counter with quick players but overall we want to dominate and hopefully we can break them down as the game goes on.’

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