Harry Maguire is understood to be confident that he’ll prove his fitness to Gareth Southgate before the England manager selects his World Cup squad.
Maguire picked up a thigh injury in his country’s Nations League match against Germany and hasn’t played since – the latest blow in what has been a tricky campaign for the Manchester United centre-back.
There are just three United matches left before Southgate names his World Cup selection, and he may have doubts about including Maguire in it if the defender hasn’t proved he’s fit again by then.
However, ESPN state that the defender is confident he’ll be able to recover and get some minutes under his belt in time to do so.
The belief is that Maguire’s injury is only “minor” and that his recovery is going according to plan.
Even if he is fit again, whether he’ll be given a start by Erik ten Hag is very much uncertain given he has fallen behind Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane in the pecking order since the Dutchman took over in the summer.
Nevertheless, Southgate has previously stated that he has no plans to drop Maguire if he’s fit, regardless of how much he’s playing for Man Utd.
The 29-year-old has been a key player for the Three Lions throughout Southgate’s reign, playing as big a part as anyone in their runs to the World Cup semi-finals in 2018 and the Euro 2020 final, and will remain one as long as he’s in good shape.
His return has been made all the more important by the fact that Kyle Walker looks set to miss the tournament in Qatar after undergoing groin surgery.