A surprise Erik ten Hag masterstroke has prompted another observer to claim a senior Man Utd star’s time “is up”, and a move to another Premier League side has already been suggested.
It’s been a strange old season for Manchester United captain Harry Maguire. His place at the heart of United’s defence had always been assured in previous seasons, though not so under Ten Hag.
The Dutchman wasted little time installing Lisandro Martinez as Raphael Varane’s primary partner. The pair have struck up a fine understanding, though the real surprise came when Martinez was absent.
Martinez missed several United fixtures in the aftermath of the World Cup due to his exertions with Argentina. Instead of simply recalling Maguire, Ten Hag moved left-back Luke Shaw over to centre-half.
The remarkable move proved a masterstroke, with United winning all four matches in which Shaw played centrally. That also included the 2-1 derby win over reigning champions Man City.
Maguire has since been relegated to mop-up duty off the bench. His new role centres around shoring up the back-line and seeing out the final moments when brought on from the bench very late on.
Calls grow for Maguire to leave Man Utd
Man Utd great, Rio Ferdinand, was quick to suggest Maguire should seek a move away following the surprise snub.
Ferdinand claimed he’d “strangle” former United left-back Patrice Evra if Sir Alex Ferguson did to him what Ten Hag has done to Maguire involving Shaw.
Rio also claimed Maguire has been disrespected as a result, and is not alone in calling for Maguire to depart.
Speaking to Football Insider, former Tottenham and Leeds goalkeeper, Paul Robinson, stated Maguire’s time at Old Trafford “is up”
Robinson had nothing but good things to say about Ten Hag’s superb decision to move Shaw centrally. However, the knock-on effects to Maguire may make his situation untenable.
“Shaw has been incredible,” said Robinson.
“He has been given an opportunity at centre-half recently and he has taken it with both hands.
“I never thought of him being a centre-half but now you watch him there, he has all of the credentials. He deserves all of his plaudits.
“You wonder where it leaves Maguire though. Shaw and Martinez are ahead of him in the pecking order now.
“Maguire was great at the World Cup. But, he has come back and is not playing. I question where his future lies. He has a left-back playing ahead of him. I think his time at Man United is up.”
In-Prem move touted by multiple sources
On the subject of who Maguire could join, one club in particular has been linked.
The Daily Mirror reported West Ham have been sizing up a January loan move. ESPN later confirmed Maguire is on David Moyes’ radar.
The Times subsequently reported Maguire will not be leaving Old Trafford this month, though it might be a different story come the summer.
The Telegraph’s James Ducker reported United will again be working with a restricted budget in the summer unless they ‘sell well’ at season’s end.
While it’s unlikely they’d be able to recoup anything close to the £80m they paid Leicester, United would still hope to generate a sizeable fee.
While Maguire has fallen out of favour at club level, he continues to prove his worth with England on the international stage.
What’s more, West Ham may have money to burn if forced into selling Declan Rice this summer, as the Athletic have predicted they will.
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