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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 20 June 2018

After eventful summer, Harry Maguire 'definitely' ready for England debut if called upon

Relegated with Hull, back in the Premier League with Leicester and now on the cusp on winning first cap in World Cup qualifier against Malta

Harry Maguire  could make his England debut in the World Cup qualifier against Malta. Carl Recine / Reuters
Harry Maguire could make his England debut in the World Cup qualifier against Malta. Carl Recine / Reuters

Harry Maguire admits it has been a "roller-coaster" last few months for him in the build-up to his first senior England call-up.

Manager Gareth Southgate was considering the defender for the squad he named in May for matches against Scotland and France.

But Maguire was ruled out by a knee injury he sustained as he experienced a double whammy of disappointment that month, also suffering the pain of relegation from the Premier League with Hull City.

Things soon improved for the 24-year-old centre-back, though, with June seeing him sign for Leicester, ensuring he would be playing top-flight football again in 2017/18.

And after making a fine start to the season with his new club, Maguire now finds himself a part of Southgate's squad, with a possible England debut to come in Friday's World Cup qualifier against Malta.

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Maguire said ahead of the match in Ta' Qali: "It has been a bit of a roller-coaster, the last few months.

"The disappointment of getting relegated from the Premier League is an awful time for anybody as a footballer.

"It is a cruel game at times. After that disappointment with Hull, it would have been a great confidence boost to come away with England, but it wasn't to be.

"But then you get the delight of signing for a big club like Leicester, which I'm over the moon about, and then getting the call-up to the national team, which is every young boy's dream."

Fellow centre-back options in the squad alongside Maguire include Gary Cahill, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, John Stones and Michael Keane.

Asked if he felt ready to go straight into the first XI if selected, Maguire said: "Definitely.

"I feel like I'm here because I'm trusted to play in any game.

"It is a big squad and a good one, and it is up to the manager who he wants to pick."

Regarding the Malta clash, he added: "It's a game where there is nothing to lose for them and everything to lose for us.

"We have to go out there with a strong mindset - if we're complacent we'll come away with nothing.

"But we're more than capable of going there and getting a good result."