Manchester United defender Harry Maguire has vowed to fight for his place after explaining why he failed to leave the club this summer.
West Ham seemed to be close to signing Maguire during the most recent transfer window, but the move never went through. Even after being stripped of the captaincy, on top of already losing his place as a regular starter, Maguire has remained at Man Utd’s disposal.
Regardless, Erik ten Hag has only used him as a substitute in one out of four Premier League matches so far this season. Consequently, his presence in the England squad has been questioned.
Perhaps it might have been wiser for Maguire to move to West Ham, so he could start playing regularly at club level again. However, it appears he has no regrets about staying at Man Utd.
As quoted by the Daily Express, Maguire said: “I know, at the moment, when I have not started a game in the first four games of the season, the story comes to me.
“I want to play games, I want to play football.
“The first four weeks were hard because it was one game a week and the manager didn’t select me but we have lots of games coming up now and I am sure I will play lots of games.”
Reports have suggested the reason Maguire didn’t leave Man Utd was because they failed to agree upon a pay-off arrangement.
Pressed on exactly why he is still a Man Utd player, the 30-year-old replied: “How can I put this? We just didn’t come to an agreement.
“They were happy for me to stay and I was happy to fight for my place. I want to do that and every time I train or play I will give everything.”
Maguire remains under contract in Manchester until 2025. To date, he has played 176 times for United, scoring seven goals.
Southgate sticks up for Maguire
During the current international break, he recently scored an own goal against Scotland, but England manager Gareth Southgate has insisted the pressure on Maguire has been far too intense.
Southgate told Sky Sports News: “We’re now in a situation where, because of people in our own country, the opposition think they can have fun with him. What’s that about?
“He’s been an incredible player for England in one of the most successful teams we’ve had – critical for what we’ve been doing.
“We allow him to be open to that? It’s a joke; an absolute joke. It makes me livid.
“Thankfully he’s got the support of the dressing room and the people behind him.”
However, former Liverpool defender and self-confessed Maguire fan, Jamie Carragher, thinks it would only be fair for him to be taken out of the firing line.
Carragher wrote for the Daily Telegraph: “For his own protection, Harry Maguire should not play for England until his career is back on track. Personally and professionally the current situation is unsustainable.
“There must be a frank and honest conversation with those closest to him about how to resolve a mess because this drama around him needs fixing.”
He added: “I do not see how continually putting him on such a stage without regular, high-class club football will help him get back to the level he was. This has to stop, first and foremost, for Maguire’s sake.
“I like Maguire. I always have. He strikes me as a good lad and what he is suffering amounts to harassment. Maguire is being belittled.”
And a move to West Ham might have given him the chance to prove himself again, according to Carragher, who concluded: “He missed the opportunity to start landing a few punches when he turned down West Ham in the summer.
“David Moyes would have had the perfect manager in an ideal team for Maguire’s attributes. I am sure he would have been a success there.
“Too many transfers stall because a player feels mistreated and refuses to leave without a pay-off. Maguire had to think beyond that, especially when considering his international career. It is unfeasible for a centre-back to go into the next Euros when they have not been a regular for their club for two years.”