Giorgio Chiellini has offered his support to Harry Maguire and has hit out at criticism of the Manchester United and England defender.
Maguire has faced intense criticism following an extended period of poor performances at club level and has lost his place in the Manchester United side this season.
The 29-year-old has featured on just three occasions for the Red Devils, each ending in defeat, and his inclusion in the England squad for the upcoming Nations League games with Italy and Germany has been questioned in the media.
Chiellini – who faced Maguire in the final of Euro 2020 last summer – has offered support to the under-fire centre-back and insists the continued criticism of the defender ‘is not right’.
“I am sad for Maguire’s situation because he is a good player,” Chiellini told The Times.
“They require too much of him. Just because they paid £80million for him, he has to be the best in the world every match? It’s not right.
“The value of the market is dependent on many aspects you can’t control. It’s not your fault.
“Him and [John] Stones are a good duo. OK, Maguire maybe is not Rio Ferdinand but he’s good enough.
“With this situation it’s not helping [England] to do the best. If you want to win the World Cup, it’s impossible to do it with some problems in the key players, and for sure Maguire is one of the key players in the team.”