Dean Henderson says his Manchester United and England teammate Harry Maguire is as good as Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk.
United skipper Maguire, the world’s most expensive defender at £80m, was included in the England squad for Euro 2020 despite carrying an ankle injury.
He missed the first two group games before returning to the starting XI against the Czech Republic.
Great to be back home with my friends and family thanks for your support as always ❤️🏴🦁 pic.twitter.com/63prTL4bNK
— Harry Maguire (@HarryMaguire93) July 13, 2021
And the centre-half showed his importance to the Three Lions’ cause with some imperious form at the heart of the England defence, including the second goal in the 4-0 thrashing of Ukraine in the round of 16.
Maguire’s performances earned him a place in the Euro 2020 Team of the Tournament, but his brilliant displays came as no surprise to Henderson.
“How can you doubt Harry Maguire? Nobody can doubt him,” Henderson told talkSPORT ahead of the Euro 2020 final.
84% – Harry Maguire won 84 percent of his aerials duels at EURO 2020 (21/25), the best winning percentage in recorded EUROs history (since 1980) for any player involved in 25 aerial duels at a single edition. Goliath. #ENG #EURO2020 pic.twitter.com/ghEmWOLYxd
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) July 13, 2021
“He plays every single game for Manchester United, the biggest football club in the world and no matter what he gives his best.
“Harry is a top centre-half. I’d put him in the same category as Virgil van Dijk, and I’ll be proven right in the next couple of years, because he’s only going to get better and better.”
Maguire, who now has 38 caps for his country, played the entire 120 minutes at Wembley on Sunday night, slamming home England’s second spot-kick during the penalty shootout against Italy that eventually ended in defeat.
Congratulations to @sterling7, @HarryMaguire93 and @kylewalker2, who have all been named in the #EURO2020 Team of the Tournament!
Well done, lads 👏 pic.twitter.com/cC0jRE3gc2
— England (@England) July 13, 2021
Former Manchester United and England man Rio Ferdinand is also a big fan of Maguire.
“Harry Maguire looks so comfortable at international football,” he said. “In an England shirt he looks like a man mountain to me. He comes out with the ball and picks the right passes.
“He always tries to come out, bring someone to him and then play the ball. He wants to commit someone and that’s the difference between him and other centre-backs.”
Meanwhile, Henderson was forced to withdraw from the England squad with a hip problem and admitted it had been tough to take.
“I so wanted to be fit, so I came in with a brave face on, but I couldn’t dive,” he added. “When I came into training I couldn’t dive. I broke down after a week and I was devastated.”