Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Senior Man Utd star backed to leave after Ten Hag demotion, as common criticism is branded ‘nonsense’

Man Utd stars Bruno Fernandes and Harry Maguire

A major Man Utd star who’s fallen foul of Erik ten Hag has proved people wrong in Qatar and “needs to leave” if his situation doesn’t change after the World Cup, according to a former England manager.

Ten Hag’s arrival has helped revitalise many elements of a Manchester United squad that has toiled in recent times. United had built a dubious reputation for being underachievers, with several senior stars frequently criticised for underperforming when it mattered most. A perceived lack of effort on the pitch also dogged the club.

Ten Hag has quickly got to grips with his new squad and has transformed them into a hard-working unit who are also pleasing on the eye. However, not every United player has benefitted from the Dutchman’s arrival.

Cristiano Ronaldo lasted less than six months and recently left the club by mutual consent. Another senior star who’s flopped under Ten Hag is Harry Maguire.

The 29-year-old remains the club captain, though rarely gets a look in these days.

Summer recruit Lisandro Martinez quickly forged a formidable partnership with Raphael Varane. That bumped Maguire down to a bench role, but the Manchester Evening News suggest it’s even worse than that.

They claim Maguire is actually now fourth choice behind Victor Lindelof too. Yet despite his travails at club level, Maguire remains a vital figure for his national side.

Voices within the media spoke loudly against Gareth Southgate’s unwavering faith in Maguire. He’s rarely put a foot wrong for the Three Lions and was duly expected to retain a starting role in Qatar.

Maguire did indeed get the nod in the 6-2 demolition of Iran. Southgate is expected to name an unchanged side for the USA clash on Friday night.

Maguire finds ally in ex-England boss

Now, speaking to the No Tippy Tappy Football Podcast, former England boss, Sam Allardyce, backed Maguire to leave Man Utd if his situation at Old Trafford doesn’t change.

Allardyce reckons Maguire has already silenced the critics after a solid display against Iran. He also believes Maguire can put himself in a great position by starring in Qatar, simultaneously giving Ten Hag a decision to make while also rousing potential transfer interest.

“Harry Maguire silenced the critics straight away,” said Allardyce.

“People say it was only Iran, but it was a big moment for him, everyone was looking at him, and he handled it brilliantly.

“It leaves him in a great dilemma when he comes back to United because if he isn’t going to get picked, he needs to leave.

“He’s certainly proven to everyone in the press who were trying to pressurise Gareth [Southgate] not to play him and saying he isn’t good enough to play for United or England. He’s proven that is nonsense.”

Maguire did draw surprise links with Chelsea late in the summer window, though a deal obviously failed to materialise.

His contract in Manchester doesn’t expire until 2025 and the club have an option for an extra 12 months. As such, it appears any potential sale would either come from Maguire forcing his way out, or Ten Hag determining once and for all Maguire isn’t for him.

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