Martin Keown believes Premier League teams can ‘drive buses’ through Manchester United, but under-fire Harry Maguire isn’t the problem.
The Red Devils have started the 2023/24 season poorly, winning two and losing two of their four opening Premier League fixtures.
This has left Man Utd six points behind league leaders Manchester City, who have won four out of four and are on track for a record-breaking fourth consecutive league title.
The likes of Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool seem to be far more competitive than Man Utd already this season. This will no doubt frustrate the Old Trafford faithful, who will have been hoping that Erik ten Hag could build on his League Cup-winning campaign last season.
There is, admittedly, a long way to go, so Man Utd’s form could still turn around. Keown thinks that they have one huge issue to deal with before they can progress, though, and the constantly criticised Maguire isn’t the one to blame.
Keown takes aim at shoddy Man Utd midfield
Speaking to talkSPORT, Keown suggested that Man Utd’s biggest issue so far this season hasn’t been their defence – but their midfield.
“Some of us talk about driving buses through football teams, and, I think you could do that right now with Manchester United,” said Keown.
“It’s really the midfield that’s the issue and Harry Maguire isn’t necessarily the problem.”
Maguire was heavily linked with a departure from Man Utd all summer but ultimately opted to stay and fight for his place at Old Trafford.
The England international has played just 23 minutes of football for the Red Devil’s so far this season – coming off the bench in their recent 3-1 defeat to Arsenal.
Maguire’s introduction brought mocking cheers from the home supporters and he was largely blamed after the game for contributing to Man Utd’s downfall in the game. Declan Rice and Gabriel Jesus struck late in stoppage time to seal three points for the Gunners.
The reality is, though, that Man Utd’s issues at the back are definitely not helped by their midfield.
Casemiro has been a shadow of his former self so far this term, while Mason Mount has contributed nothing positive since making the switch from Chelsea.
Ten Hag will hope that the signing of Sofyan Amrabat will help to solve his midfield issues.