ARSENAL legend Paul Merson phoned Harry Maguire to apologise shortly after criticising his £85million transfer to Manchester United three years ago.
In the summer of 2019, Merson, 54, went viral for his passionate reaction to Maguire's huge move to Old Trafford.
When asked about his thoughts on the £85m deal, the ex-Arsenal star claimed that the defender was a good player, but his huge price tag was "ridiculous at the highest level".
However, Merson was quick to regret his choice of words and decided to phone Maguire in order to apologise.
The former midfielder told The Telegraph: "I don’t want to be right on that – I’d rather be wrong.
"I want England to win the World Cup and Harry Maguire to get the winning goal. It was just my opinion.
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"I rang up Brendan Rodgers and said, ‘Can you get me Harry Maguire's number?’ I didn't feel comfortable with myself.
"I needed to ring him and say, ‘I don’t agree with the £80m but I shouldn’t have said that and I'm sorry'. I went a little bit too far.
"He couldn't believe it. Probably thought it was a joke.
"I don't think he has had a fair crack. He’s struggling and he’s playing on the left when he's right-footed."
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Maguire has fallen out-of-favour with new Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag this season.
He has been limited to just three Premier League appearances – two of which came when the Red Devils suffered successive defeats to Brighton and Brentford at the start of the campaign.
Despite his lack of form, Gareth Southgate handed the defender another international call-up last week ahead of England's upcoming Nations League fixtures against Italy and Germany.
Merson also opened up about the time he received death threats after criticising Man Utd and Anthony Martial.
He added: "Someone put a message out saying, ‘I’m going to kill you, your kids’. I don’t need that. I’m just doing my job.
"You have a choice. Some people know how to do it: ‘block him, don’t read him’. I had to read everybody and I would reply in a nice way.
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"Nine times out of 10, they would come back and say, ‘sorry about that’. I understand.
"But it’s me and makes me feel bad. Do I read it, feel bad, angry and bitter? Or do I not read it?"
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