Harry Maguire’s injury inadvertently gifts Dream Team Euros managers potential bargain defender

1 week ago 8

GARETH SOUTHGATE has a wealth of attacking options available to him ahead of Euro 2024 but he’s stretched thin at the back.

Luke Shaw (£4m) is the only specialist left-back in the England squad and he’s not expected to be available until Matchday 2 at the earliest having not played since mid-February.

Harry Maguire (£4.5m) has been a first-choice centre-back for his country for over six years but the 31-year-old was unable to regain fitness in time to be included in the final 26-man squad.

Furthermore, John Stones (£4.5m) has been dogged by injuries this season and was substituted at half-time against Iceland after taking a blow to the ankle.

Naturally, these setbacks and concerns will have disrupted the Three Lions’ plans but can Dream Team Euros managers twist this situation to their advantage?


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Value for money?[/caption]

Maguire was priced at £4.5m in our Euros fantasy game as a reflection of the fact he was expected to start every game for one of the strongest teams at the tournament.

As it stands, he’s set to replaced in the first-choice XI by Marc Guehi (£3m).

The Crystal Palace centre-back therefore offers a cheap route into England’s defence – there aren’t many starting defenders available for £3m among the top sides.

Last week, we questioned Kyle Walker’s (£4m) immense popularity due to the fact he offers very little going forward at international level.

The only reason for gaffers to select the speedy right-back is if they expect England to keep their fair share of clean sheets in Germany.

If that’s the case then why not pick Guehi instead and invest the extra £1m on a significant upgrade elsewhere?

Southgate has question marks in defenceAlamy

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For example, say there’s a Dream Team boss out there with Walker and Jorginho (£3.5m) in their XI – replacing Walker with Guehi would allow them to switch the Italy midfielder for either Jamal Musiala (£4.5m), Bernardo Silva (£4.5m), Ousmane Dembele (£4.5m) or Florian Wirtz (£4.5m).

Of course, there is a chance Southgate will pair Stones with either Lewis Dunk (£3m), Joe Gomez (£3.5m) or Ezri Konsa (£3m) but right now it appears as if Guehi tops the pecking order.

Gaffers may be given a helpful indication of England’s team selection prior to the Matchday 1 deadline this Friday (7pm).

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One of the other reasons we doubted the widespread selection of Walker relates to the imbalance between the Three Lions’ attacking pedigree and their depleted defence, which looked vulnerable against Iceland at Wembley on Friday night.

The point being, a makeshift back four might find clean sheets harder to come by than managers would like.

However, there’s a difference between backing England’s defence at £4m via Walker and taking a punt on them at £3m through Guehi.

Gaffers will have to do some risk-reward analysis of their own this week.


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