Newcastle United outcast defends Man Utd star ahead of home debut

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Manchester United defender Harry Maguire has been defended by a Newcastle United winger after he received abuse during the international break.

Newcastle United winger Ryan Fraser has hit out at abuse directed towards Manchester United star Harry Maguire during the international break.

The England centre-back was a surprise pick in Gareth Southgate’s squad for last weekend’s Euro 2024 qualifier against Ukraine and Tuesday night’s friendly with Scotland. Despite not being first-choice at Old Trafford, Maguire still featured in both games for the Three Lions but received online abuse after he scored an own goal at Hampden Park.

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The former Sheffield United and Hull City defender received support from travelling England fans during and after the game and was the subject of a passionate show of support from Southgate, who described the abuse as ‘ridiculous’ and insisted he had ‘never known a player treated the way Maguire is’.

Magpies winger Fraser, who is currently on a season-long loan at Championship club Southampton, revealed he has received online abuse similar to Maguire and stressed the England has ‘done nothing wrong’ to receive such consistent criticism.

He told Sky Sports: “I think his (Maguire) is a lot worse than mine and being at a massive club like Man United and what happened with England the other night, getting booed every time he’s on the ball, it’s horrible to see.

“People think it’s funny but I’m a footballer, I know what it’s like being on the pitch. You want people to like you, he’s done nothing wrong, he’s always been professional and even after the own goal he scored, he kept the ball one hundred per cent of the time. It’s just unlucky little things like that, I don’t know him personally, but he seems like a great guy and a few lads at Newcastle knew him from the England squad and said he’s a great guy.

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“I think he’s just an easy target now that everyone is jumping on him and I just hope it stops for him.”

Fraser will hope to make his full debut for Southampton when they host Leicester City on Friday night after coming off the bench during his side’s 5-0 defeat at Sunderland prior to the international break.

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