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Dean Henderson has compared Harry Maguire's ability and influence to that of Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk in a recent interview.
Maguire has only recently completed his international commitments with England at Euro 2020, helping to guide the Three Lions to their first major tournament in 55 years.
Gareth Southgate's side eventually lost to Italy in heart breaking fashion, a penalty shootout, though Maguire stepped up and took second for England, lashing his effort into the top corner with such force it actually broke a camera placed inside the goal.
The centre-back made headlines in 2019 when he became the most expensive defender in world football after Manchester United paid Leicester City £80m in exchange for the star.
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Though the price tag sparked questions at the time, two years on, Henderson believes that Maguire's recent form shows he is among the world's most elite defenders.
“How can you doubt Harry Maguire? Nobody can doubt him,” Henderson told talkSPORT, live from Wembley during England's final clash with Italy.
“He plays every single game for Manchester United, the biggest football club in the world and no matter what he gives his best.
“Unfortunately you can’t play outstanding in every game because nobody is perfect, but 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.”
talkSPORT host Adrian Durham jokingly asked the shot-stopper “Wow, are you his agent?”, to which Henderson quipped “I’d get him a new deal… I’d get a slice though!”
Henderson was originally named in England's Euro 2020 squad with the intention of deputising for number one 'keeper Jordan Pickford, but was forced to withdraw after sustaining a hip injury.
“I worked every day, day in and day out, I was grinding down to get into that team at Man United. I went through every brick wall I could get through, I fought hard and when I got through into the team I was shattered, I was exhausted.
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“I was mentally tired, I’d done everything right to get into the team but I’d used up all my energy worrying about getting into the team. So when I got into the team I had a good little run and then got injured and then I struggled."
Henderson conceded he went into the tournament carrying the knock, "I didn’t want to give my place up with the Euros in sight and with what I’d done to get my shirt, so I went into the Euros.
“I so wanted to be fit, so I came in with a brave face on, but I couldn’t dive. When I came into training I couldn’t dive, I broke down after a week and I was devastated.”
- Harry Maguire
- Virgil van Dijk
- Manchester United FC
- England Football Team
- Euro 2020
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