Harry Maguire’s time away with England during the international break has brought some much-needed joy to the Manchester United captain.
Maguire has been criticized for his performances for United in recent weeks when he returned from a calf injury for the 4-2 defeat to Leicester City.
He played in the 5-0 lap for Liverpool the following week and also in the 2-0 defeat to Manchester City in the most recent match before the international break.
However, Maguire has found form with England and scored in World Cup qualifiers against Albania on Friday and San Marino on Monday.
The 28-year-old, perhaps unwise, put his fingers to his ears to celebrate the goal against Albania, but there was a more subdued celebration in San Marino.
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That goal put him above John Terry on the all-time list of goal-scoring English midfielders, with Maguire now scoring seven times, one more than the Chelsea legend.
United will be hoping that Maguire has regained some confidence with his goal-scoring achievements with the center-back set to play Watford on Saturday.
Maguire’s celebration against Albania brought him criticism, especially from United legend Roy Keane, who called the action ’embarrassing’.
“I think he puts his hands to his ears as if he has closed the critics, but I think it’s embarrassing,” Keane said.
Maguire replied, insisting that there was no ulterior motive behind it.
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“It was a great ball from Reece (James),” Maguire said. We had worked on it, we knew the areas we could leverage, and credit to all employees for doing so.
“I managed to direct the header into the far post and I think when you play those matches, the first goal is crucial and it comes pretty much from set play. We knew we would get a lot of sets. games and we should be clinical with them.
“The celebration was a knee-jerk reaction, it just came naturally to me. It’s a great feeling to score for my country.”
What did you think of Maguire’s international break? Have your say in the comments section …