After a difficult week in the limelight, while representing England, Harry Maguire is prepared to go into the background at Manchester United.
For treatment on a muscular issue that has raised questions about his readiness for Sunday’s Manchester derby at the Etihad, Maguire visited United on Wednesday.
The most the United captain could hope for, even if he is cleared to play against Manchester City, is a spot on the bench after being demoted by manager Erik ten Hag.
The centre defence duo of Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez is now unquestionably Ten Hag’s first choice.
Harry Maguire’s play is being closely watched following a rocky start to the year that reached a new low on Monday night when he was held accountable for two of England’s three goals against Germany in a Nations League tie and also sustained an injury at Wembley.
The 29-year-old is still supported by England manager Gareth Southgate, but he acknowledges that before the World Cup in Qatar, he has to play more for his club.
Although Harry Maguire stated following Italy’s 1-0 loss in Milan last week that he is not concerned about “rustiness,” there are worries that a lack of playing time for United has had an impact on his form.
Harry Maguire has some solace in the fact that United will have their busiest October ever with nine games scheduled for next month; as a result, he should have opportunities before Southgate picks his World Cup roster in November.
When Ten Hag took over as captain, Harry Maguire retained the position, although he lost it after consecutive losses to Brentford and Brighton at the beginning of the season.
Since then, United has won five of their last six games, with Maguire making just one start against Real Sociedad in Europe.
Harry Maguire will sit out of Manchester United’s derby match against nearby City after getting hurt while representing England.
At the conclusion of a thrilling 3-3 Nations League match with Germany, in which Maguire made yet another costly mistake, Harry Kane disclosed that the Red Devils’ club captain had been playing on “one leg” due to an injury. That will prevent him from visiting the Etihad Stadium, but Erik ten Hag believes the most expensive defender in sport will quiet his detractors once he is well again.
WHAT THEY Stated: The manager of the Red Devils said of a centre-half who is under criticism, “I have to coach him and back him. I back him because I believe in him. I can see his qualities. Quality is there. Almost 50 caps for England, he has high potential. Then it is about him. We all believe in him.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Despite Maguire’s absence when United travels to Manchester on Sunday, Ten Hag has been encouraged by the return of two seasoned strikers. “Anthony Martial been training with the group all week, really happy with that situation. Marcus Rashford also joined training.”