England’s John Stones backs ‘partner’ Harry Maguire

Harry Maguire

John Stones, the center-back for Manchester City, feels form and club minutes are meaningless in the World Cup. He expects Manchester United captain Harry Maguire to do well for England on the international stage.

Stones and Maguire are experienced in leading their country deep into major competitions, having started together in the semi-final of the 2018 World Cup and the final of the 2020 European Championship.

While Stones, 28, remains in excellent status at City and has started nearly every single game this season, Maguire, 29, has had a much more difficult time with United.

After starting the first two Premier League games of the season, he has started only one game since; Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane have surpassed him.

Stones stated that despite Maguire’s imperfect preparation, he can still perform at a high level if that is how Gareth Southgate chooses to line up.

“Whatever team or whatever system Gareth decides, if it’s me and Harry, we will use those bonds again,” he stated. 

“They are too strong to be broken by game time, form, whatever it is. That kind of goes out the window when these moments hit.

“When I look at Harry, I see a partner. Through all our experiences, he’s had my back, and I’ve had his.

“We’ve had so many games together; we’ve made a bond and a partnership together. We know what the other person is going to do and how we work best together. It clicks.”

On November 21, England will open their campaign against Iran, followed by group-stage matches against the United States and Wales.