Harry Maguire’s form for Manchester United is becoming a big worry for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, claims a pundit.
United paid Leicester a mammoth £80m to bring Maguire to Old Trafford from Leicester last summer. The fee was a world-record sum for a defender.
Maguire made a bright start to life at United and his form saw the defender rewarded with the captaincy in January.
However, since football’s resumption, Maguire has come in for some serious criticism. Roy Keane tore him to shreds after Tottenham’s Steven Bergwijn scored against United last month. He was then later berated after being embarrassed by Junior Stanislas when the Bournemouth winger scored at Old Trafford.
Maguire was also criticised on Monday when his questionable marking played a part in Michael Obafemi’s late equaliser for Southampton.
After the match, Solskjaer admitted his side had not done enough to deserve the win.
The Norwegian, however, is not one to publicly condemn him players in public – something his predecessor Jose Mourinho did with frequent ease.
However, ESPN FC pundit Craig Burley believes the mistakes creeping into Maguire’s game will be of “major concern” to Solskjaer.
“I think [Victor] Lindelof is OK. But for the money paid for Harry Maguire, I tell you he is looking very cumbersome to me,” Burley stated.
“If I was Solskjaer, that centre-half pairing would be a big concern for me. We know they’re not the only team. We know City are looking for centre halves, we know Chelsea are, Arsenal are desperate for them.
“All these clubs are desperate for these defenders and Manchester United are another club that are in that scenario.”
Burley questions Solskjaer
Burley has also claimed United would already have secured a top-four finish if they had a coach with any ‘tactical nouse’.
Burley added: “I think United are the favourites to get in it because of their remaining fixtures. But if they’d have had a man in charge from the start of the season who in my opinion was up to the task properly they would probably have nailed it down.
“That’s my point, if United fans can’t take that and don’t like it then tough. Continue the fact you’ll be chasing the tail of Manchester City and Liverpool in the coming seasons.
“Manchester United are one of the biggest commercial juggernauts in the world and have been for some while. Their standards are a lot higher than most others. I would suggest sitting in fifth in the table is not great shape for Man Utd unless standards have dropped.
“I acknowledge some of their great young players, I don’t deny that. But the big question isn’t if these young players produce, it’s has he (Solskjaer) got the tactical nous when it comes to the nitty gritty, can he outwit two of the best managers on the planet in Klopp and Guardiola?
“And don’t think these teams will sit on their hands. They (Liverpool) will go out and replenish that squad in the summer, Man City will definitely go again even more so now we know they are going to be playing in the Champions League.
“We know these teams have got world-class managers, we cannot hand on heart, absolutely nobody can, apart from one or two cheerleaders, sit here and say Man Utd have got a world-class coach, If anybody does they’re stupid.”