Star’s Man Utd career believed to be over, as West Ham ace slams ’embarrassing’ actions

Man Utd centre-back Harry Maguire and West Ham striker Michail Antonio

One observer believes Harry Maguire has played his last game for Manchester United, while West Ham ace, Michail Antonio, has lashed out at the “embarrassing” criticism the centre-half receives.

Maguire, 30, has become a lightning rod for criticism in recent times. The Man Utd and England defender is constantly under the microscope and the intense scrutiny he receives has prompted a backlash.

Indeed, England boss Gareth Southgate branded Maguire’s perceived ill treatment “a joke” in the aftermath of the 3-1 victory over Scotland. The fact Maguire scored an own goal in the contest did not aid Southgate’s cause.

Maguire’s mother has also spoken about in defence of her son.

“I understand that in the football world, there are ups and downs, positives and negatives, but what Harry receives has gone far beyond football,” said Zoe Maguire (via the BBC).

The centre-back came close to leaving Man Utd over the summer after West Ham saw a £30m offer accepted. However, the move fell through after Maguire failed to agree personal terms with the Hammers.

Subsequent reporting has suggested Maguire’s preference was always to stay in Manchester and fight for his place.

Maguire was thus retained at Old Trafford where he’s either fourth or fifth choice in his favoured centre-back position, depending on whether Jonny Evans is favoured.

What’s more, Erik ten Hag often fielded left-back Luke Shaw out of position centrally at Maguire’s expense last term.

As such, Maguire can expect opportunities at club level to be in short supply this season. But according to pundit Frank McAvennie, Maguire may have already played his last match for the club.

Game over for Maguire at Man Utd?

Speaking to Football Insider, the former Scotland international said: “He has got to go through this rough spell.

“He has got to grow up and take the positives with the negatives. He is not a bad player but he is not a good player for Man Utd and I do not think he will play for Man Utd again.

“I can’t understand why he did not want to leave. He could have gone abroad, got his confidence again but he has got to play.“

It would appear unlikely Maguire won’t don a United shirt on at least a handful of further occasions this season. Indeed, Raphael Varane remains worryingly injury prone and Shaw is currently sidelined with a muscle injury.

In any case, what is clear is Maguire faces an uphill struggle to convince Ten Hag he’s worthy of regular action at Old Trafford.

“I’ve never seen this ever” – Antonio slams Maguire flak

Elsewhere, West Ham frontman, Michail Antonio, has joined those who believe the criticism levelled at Maguire is completely unnecessary.

Speaking on the Footballer’s Football Podcast, Antonio declared: “It’s gone way too far – it’s actually embarrassing.

“I’ve never seen this ever in football, how one person can be absolutely destroyed any time he does anything wrong, [even when] it’s not his fault and he’s just involved in it.

“People do forget that people are human and obviously this will affect them mentally. He went from being an unbelievable centre-half, I think one of the best in the Premier League when he was at Hull and Leicester, to half-a-man.

“He’s trying to stay strong, to rebuild himself. He believes in his ability. Right now it’s just not working for him.

“When I saw Gareth Southgate speak up, I was like ‘well done’. It should have been brought up before. It’s been a whole two years.”

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