Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Erik ten Hag causes Man Utd rift with Harry Maguire decision, as boss turns back on golden rule

Harry Maguire, Erik ten Hag, August 2022

Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag has reportedly caused dressing room tensions to rise by allowing Harry Maguire a break in Portugal.

The England defender has been in the spotlight for a while now because of his form and performances. Question marks arose about him last season, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick kept the club captain in the team.

Although, Ten Hag has not been so forgiving since he arrived at Old Trafford. Instead, summer signing Lisandro Martinez has displaced Maguire at centre-back.

Maguire subsequently got a fresh chance to prove himself with England last month. But, he ended the international break with an injury and has missed Man Utd’s last two matches.

According to The Sun, Ten Hag allowed Maguire to spend time in Portugal this week. A source supposedly told the newspaper that Ten Hag hoped the break would allow the defender to “clear his head” and “put him in a better place”.

However, the newspaper adds that the decision has only caused ‘splits’ to occur in the United dressing room.

That is because Ten Hag has previously insisted that all injured United players must stay at the club’s Carrington training base and focus on their fitness there.

But, the United source claimed “exceptional circumstances” prompted Ten Hag to sanction Maguire’s break.

Ten Hag sanctions Maguire break

And a Man Utd spokesperson told The Sun: “Harry was given permission to travel to Portugal to continue his rehabilitation while the rest of the squad was in Cyprus, allowing him to benefit from the same warm weather conditions.

“Harry was accompanied by a MU physio and has been working hard on his recovery. “He is due back at Carrington on Sunday.”

However, Maguire will reportedly not make Sunday’s Premier League clash away at Everton.

The Red Devils are looking to bounce back from their 6-3 defeat to Manchester City last time out in the league.

In between, they squeezed past Cyprus-based side Omonia in the Europa League on Thursday.

United held a clear-the-air meeting after their loss to Man City. Midfielder Bruno Fernandes proved one of the most vocal players as the squad tried to move past their current issues.

Man Utd centre-back needs game time

Maguire is undoubtedly facing one of the most defining seasons of his career.

He has had the trust of his former Man Utd managers, who kept him in the team despite growing criticism.

And the 29-year-old still has backing from England manager Gareth Southgate. Southgate is planning for a World Cup where Maguire features heavily for the Three Lions.

But, his recent omissions by Ten Hag – and his injury after the international break – will only make his club situation harder.

Martinez and Raphael Varane have formed a strong bond instead. In the absence of Varane – who is battling to be fit to play Everton – Victor Lindelof could have a chance to prove his worth.

But for Maguire, he will hope he can get back to full fitness as soon as possible. United face a busy October in the build-up to the World Cup and Maguire will hope rotation can offer him vital minutes.