A pundit’s savage assessment of Harry Maguire has gained clarity after a report revealed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer dropped a major clanger over the Manchester United captain.
Maguire, 28, has endured a torrid run of form over the past few weeks. He looked off the pace upon his return from injury on October 16 as United fell to Maguire’s former club Leicester 4-2.
A goal against Atalanta as United produced a memorable comeback from two goals down followed, but Maguire would hit rock bottom four days later against Liverpool.
The skipper was dragged this way and that as Liverpool carved open United’s leaky defence time after time.
That contributed to talkSPORT pundit and former Chelsea full-back Jason Cundy recently taking aim at Maguire with a savage put-down.
Cundy said: “He doesn’t look fit, he looks like he’s carrying about a stone over weight. He can’t run, he can’t move, he can’t shift his weight, he can’t turn.”
The pundit then quipped of Maguire: “He looks like he’s got divers’ boots on.”
Maguire’s displays have unquestionably been below his usual standards. However, a report from the Telegraph has suggested his poor performances may be the fault of Solskjaer.
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The newspaper stated Maguire was rushed back from his calf injury to face Leicester ‘up to 10 days away from being ready to play.’
In doing so, Eric Bailly was overlooked and remained an unused substitute that day. That then led to the centre-back ‘openly challenging’ his Norwegian boss as pressure began to mount on Solskjaer’s position.
The Telegraph added Maguire had just ‘one day of full training on grass’ ahead of the Foxes clash. The article cites ‘well placed sources’ that indicated Maguire should’ve ‘sat out’ the matches against Leicester and Atalanta.
Solskjaer’s justification for rushing back Maguire is suggested to have come from Raphael Varane’s injury.
The Frenchman had suffered a groin injury with France during the international break. That left the relatively untried Victor Lindelof-Eric Bailly partnership as his only other option.
Nonetheless, few could argue Solskjaer was correct to bring Maguire back into the fold so soon given his sub-par showings since.
Man Utd having second thoughts over Haaland transfer?
Meanwhile, Manchester United are having doubts over a deal for Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland amid fears about the lasting effects of his current injury, according to a report.
The 21-year-old has made himself one of the world’s most coveted forwards in Europe following his rise in recent seasons. Indeed, his record of 70 goals in 69 games at Dortmund speaks for itself.
According to Bild, though, his latest spell on the sidelines is causing concern for the recruitment teams at United and Manchester City. The English pair are two of his leading suitors.
Haaland has a hip flexor injury. Manager Marco Rose revealed last month the issue will keep him out for “a few weeks”.
Man Utd and City fear that the speed, strength and endurance of the striker could be affected long-term.
That is making club chiefs reconsider whether paying his reported €75million (£64million) release clause, which activates next summer, would be worth it. United and City also still have issues with Haaland’s notorious agent, Mino Raiola.