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Harry Kane sends strong Harry Maguire message ahead of Manchester United vs Bayern Munich

Bayern Munich striker Harry Kane has launched a staunch defence of England teammate Harry Maguire ahead of Wednesday night's UEFA Champions League clash with Manchester United at the Allianz Arena.

Maguire, who is yet to start a game for United this season, was stripped of the club captaincy over the summer, a decision that marked another key juncture in his recent downfall. He has experienced a difficult 12 months at Old Trafford and the club attempted to sell him during the summer transfer window.

Despite his ongoing difficulties at club level, Maguire remains a key figure within the plans of England manager Gareth Southgate. He was selected for the Three Lions' fixtures against Ukraine and Scotland earlier this month, appearing in both matches.

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He netted an own-goal after stepping off the bench in the 3-1 win over Scotland at Hampden Park last Tuesday, prompting jeers from the Scotland fans every time he got the ball. It resulted in England manager Gareth Southgate launching a passionate defence of the centre-back, describing the ongoing criticism of the former Leicester City ace as a "joke".

Kane shared the pitch with Maguire against Scotland, scoring England's third goal, and he has joined the Three Lions boss in issuing a strong defence of the United defender ahead of Bayern's clash with the Reds.

"I think H has come under some really unnecessary scrutiny," said Kane. "He has probably been scapegoated a little bit, in terms of the way the team [United] have gone over recent times.

"He is a really good friend of mine, he is a great guy and a really

Read more on manchestereveningnews.co.uk