Harry Maguire leaves England squad, two Under-21 players promoted | Football


Harry Maguire leaves England squad, two Under-21 players promoted | Football

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The Manchester United defender will not play against Belgium (Picture: Getty)

Manchester United’s Harry Maguire is one of three England players forced to withdraw from the squad due to injury, with two Under-21 players promoted to the senior squad.

The centre-back was subbed off midway through the second half of England’s 1-0 defeat to Brazil on Saturday and was sent for a scan on Sunday.

He has now been ruled out of Tuesday’s friendly against Belgium and has been sent back to United early.

The issue is not thought to be serious, though Maguire is now a doubt for United’s upcoming Premier League fixture away to Brentford on Saturday evening.

Maguire’s injury will be a huge blow for Erik ten Hag, with the 31-year-old having only just returned to fitness.

He missed a number of games over the busy festive period due to a groin injury and then was sidelined for recent Premier League matches against Manchester City and Everton.

Maguire made his return in the FA Cup quarter-final victory over Liverpool, playing 49 minutes off the bench, but only lasted 67 minutes against Brazil before being withdrawn.

Rico Lewis has been promoted to the senior England squad (Picture: Getty)

The latest international break has been a troublesome one for England, with Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka returning to the north London club last Thursday to undergo rehabilitation on a preexisting injury.

Following the defeat to Brazil, Gareth Southgate also revealed that skipper Harry Kane would be unable to participate in either friendly following an ankle injury picked up playing for Bayern Munich, and he has also returned to his club.

Now Kyle Walker – who limped off early in the first half against Brazil – and backup goalkeeper Sam Johnstone have joined Maguire in withdrawing.

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To make up the numbers, two Under-21 players have been promoted to the senior squad: Manchester City’s Rico Lewis and Burnley shot-stopper James Trafford.

It is Trafford’s first senior call-up, while Lewis made his debut for the Three Lions against Macedonia back in November last year.

The withdrawals mean Everton’s Jarrad Branthwaite is in line to make his debut for England against Belgium, with Southgate expected to rotate his side heavily from the team that lost to Brazil.

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