England head coach Gareth Southgate has expressed concerns over the lack of minutes for Harry Maguire and Kalvin Phillips at their respective clubs.

Despite his questionable club play, Southgate has stood by Maguire, and the defender has been steady in international football.

However, after making just eight Premier League starts for Manchester United this season, the central defender is being scrutinised more than ever.

Phillips had an injury-plagued season, with only four starts in all competitions despite being available for significant portions of the season.

“Harry is captain of an incredible football club so that is a difficult situation. He will obviously be frustrated not to play as much as he would like but I think he has handled that really well. He has publicly talked well about supporting the team,” Southgate said.

“It is clear, really. I think Harry and Kalvin are the two who have played the least in terms of guys in this squad this season but we have gone with them because in these two positions, we think they are still ahead of others that might have played more.

“But it is then hard when that competition gets more even and you are not playing regularly to see their form, see their fitness so that is the challenge for everybody.”

Maguire started both of England’s recent Euro 2024 qualifiers against Malta and North Macedonia, while Phillips scored off the bench in the latter.

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