England captain Harry Kane claims Harry Maguire has been “scapegoated” and subjected to “unnecessary scrutiny.
Kane’s Bayern Munich will face Maguire’s Manchester United on Wednesday in the Champions League.
Maguire, 30, has struggled for first-team play and was chastised after scoring an own goal in England’s 3-1 away win over Scotland last week.
Maguire has been described as “one of England’s best defenders” by Kane.
However, the centre-back will not play on Wednesday because of an injury.
After the game at Hampden Park, England manager Gareth Southgate referred to Maguire’s criticism as “a joke” because he had received taunts from home supporters when he put the ball in his own net.
Maguire claims he “can deal with banter” from supporters, but West Ham United striker Michail Antonio claims the defender’s humanity is being overlooked, while Maguire’s mother, Zoe, claims the abuse “goes far beyond football.”
“I think he has come under some unnecessary scrutiny,” Kane remarked ahead of Wednesday’s first group-stage match at the Allianz Arena.
“He’s probably been scapegoated a little bit.” He’s a good friend of mine, a lovely man, and a hardworking professional.
“He has been one of England’s best defenders in recent times and throughout the country’s history.”
“You are scrutinized all over social media now; it’s part of our game.”
“But, knowing him, all he will want to do is work harder, improve and get better, and stay focused.”
Kane, 30, also warned against complacency when Bayern takes on Manchester United, who have already lost three of their first five Premier League games.
“United have been going through a tough spell recently, but sometimes that can be really dangerous,” said the striker, who joined the German club from Tottenham in the summer.
“They expect a big response, and we have to be careful of that.”
“We’re at home and want to dictate the game and play the way we want to, but they have some threats as well that we must be wary of.”