After Harry Maguire‘s proposed transfer to West Ham fell through, Erik ten Hag gave a harsh appraisal of his chances of fighting his way back into his plans.
The England defender has had a difficult 18 months, and as a result, his manager has moved him down the central defensive pecking order behind left-back Luke Shaw.
When Ten Hag abruptly withdrew the 30-year-old of his position as club captain earlier this summer, Maguire seemed to have little chance of recovery.
Later, United and West Ham reached an agreement worth £30 million, but this week’s sale failed because Maguire reportedly wanted to stay at Old Trafford and compete for a starting position.
When asked how much football Maguire could anticipate playing this season, Ten Hag scoffed, “It’s up to him [how much he plays].”
He is aware of what I am capable of. You already know what I expect from a centre half since I’ve been here for a year.
“And he can do it; I’ve told you repeatedly that he has the capacity to do it; he just needs to demonstrate it.”
“Then it comes down to character; he has all the skills to play that role, and it is up to him when the time [opportunity] is there,” the author writes.
We need a strong squad, and Harry is one of our players. With Luke Shaw, we have five strong centre backs, and we need that because we will play 50 to 60 games this season.
“We have a very heavy load to cover because all the players are internationals, so I’m glad Harry Maguire is here.”
Benjamin Pavard, a versatile defender for Bayern Munich, had been linked to a move to United, but Maguire’s continued association with the team seems to have allayed the need for reinforcements.
All of the positions in our team are covered, but since we are Manchester United, we are constantly searching for ways to get better. When the chance arises, we will take advantage in the upcoming two weeks.
As I previously stated, we are constantly looking for opportunities, but I believe our squad is strong. With this squad, we are confident that we can achieve our goals.