SHEFFIELD UNITED: Promotion key to keeping Harry Maguire, says Marcus Williams

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MARCUS Williams has acknowledged it is imperative Sheffield United win promotion this season to give themselves the best possible chance of retaining Harry Maguire.

Williams was speaking after his team mate was confirmed as a member of the England under-21 squad which entertains Northern Ireland at Bloomfield Road this evening.

United remained second in the League One table despite being beaten by MK Dons three days ago and their full-back, Williams, said: “Harry is destined to play at a higher level, there’s no doubt about that. Hopefully we’ll go up and so that will be with us.

“He’s done well to get in there and it’s thoroughly deserved. All of the lads are really pleased for him.”

Williams added: “We’re in a good position but there’s a long way to go yet. The good thing is we are where we are and that we know there are still plenty of areas where we can improve.”

Maguire, aged 19, is the only player plying their trade below Premier League or Championship level called up by coach Stuart Pearce for a challenge match which forms part of England’s preparations for next summer’s Euro’s in Israel.

Chelsea’s Nathaniel Chalobah, Andre Wisdom of Liverpool and Southampton’s Nathaniel Clyne are among those also vying for a place in defence against Steve Robinson’s side.

Maguire and Leicester City’s Martyn Waghorn received official notification of their selection on Sunday night after Wilfred Zaha, Jason Lowe and Sammy Ameobi were forced to withdraw.

Seanan Clucas and Matthew Lund, who featured against Maguire when United beat Bristol Rovers in the FA Cup first round earlier this month, could appear for the visitors together with Carl Winchester of Oldham Athletic.