Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Maguire position threatened by three Man Utd players including Fernandes, as showdown Ten Hag talks await

Man Utd trio Bruno Fernandes, Rapaehl Varane and Harry Maguire

Harry Maguire could be stripped of the Man Utd captaincy with three viable alternatives named, though he’s hopeful showdown talks with Erik ten Hag will spare his blushes, per a report.

Maguire was appointed the captain of Man Utd within six months of arriving from Leicester. The 29-year-old cost a world record fee for a defender, though his displays last season did not justify his lofty price tag.

Indeed, individual errors marred his campaign on a personal level. From a team perspective, United fared little better when made to settle for a disappointing sixth-placed finish.

Their 58-point total was the club’s lowest in the Premier League era. Maguire was as big of a factor in their struggles as any with their 57 goals conceded another new low in the last 30 years.

Erik ten Hag has been selected as the man to lead the rebuild. Speculation has swirled one of his early decisions could be to strip Maguire of the captaincy and appoint another.

Maguire’s place in the starting eleven is far from secure if Manchester United land a new centre-half. Ajax’s Jurrien Timber has been heavily linked and the Dutchman would be a perfect fit for Ten Hag’s style of play.

Now, the Mirror report Maguire is set to hold showdown talks with the new manager regarding his position as captain of the club.

Harry Maguire desperate to hold position

Maguire is currently on international duty and will seek clarification from Ten Hag once returned to pre-season training.

However, that opportunity may not arise until July with Maguire among a host of players who’ll be given a ‘grace period’ to return later than the initial June 27 starting date. That stems from the long campaign he featured in for both club and country.

Harry Maguire, England training May 2022

From the player’s end, Maguire is deemed ‘desperate’ to keep the armband. However, should Ten Hag sanction a change, three ‘viable alternatives’ already within the ranks are named.

Experienced trio David de Gea, Raphael Varane and Bruno Fernandes are the three the Mirror claim could make the step up.

Captaincy loss could be beginning of the end

Maguire’s form nosedived last season and doubts have been expressed as to his suitability for Ten Hag.

The Dutchman requires his defenders to be mobile, comfortable on the ball and capable in one-v-ones. Maguire is a fine passer of the ball, though questions remain over the other two traits.

At 29, he is not getting any younger and United must give Ten Hag time to remodel the club in his image.

Maguire will no doubt play a part in Ten Hag’s early seasons at the club, though his long-term viability is another matter entirely.

Losing the captaincy would be a bitter pill to swallow, especially with the Mirror claiming Maguire is desperate to retain the armband. Yet if Ten Hag pulls the trigger, it could be a sign his days at Old Trafford are numbered.