Harry Maguire is really impressive and I expect a lot from him – Man Utd boss Erik Ten Hag

Harry Maguire is really impressive and I expect a lot from him - Man Utd boss Erik Ten Hag

Man United boss – Erik Ten Hag has not promised Harry Maguire a starting berth at Manchester United for the upcoming season, and it appears that he may face additional competition there.Harry Maguire is really impressive and I expect a lot from him - Man Utd boss Erik Ten Hag

Harry Maguire has received a warning from Erik ten Hag that he needs to perform really well to earn a regular role in the center of Manchester United’s defense.

Last season, Maguire struggled both on and off the pitch, prompting rumors that David de Gea or Cristiano Ronaldo might replace him as United captain.

During the Red Devil’s preseason tour of Thailand and Australia, Ten Hag reiterated, though, that the England international will keep wearing the armband in a press conference.

That was viewed as a significant show of faith in Maguire, but he now has Lisandro Martinez, who is coming from Ajax, to contend with for a starting spot.

Martinez, who can play in a variety of positions but prefers to play as a left-sided center-back, has been acquired by United for £56.5 million (€67 million) from the Eredivisie winners.

As a result, he would obviously team up with Raphael Varane, with Victor Lindelof competing for a spot at the back as well.

Even though Ten Hag has maintained that he still likes Maguire, the Dutchman is not giving his captain any guarantees for the upcoming season.

We have good centre-halves and Harry is one of them. He can play on the left side and on the right. I think he is [a first-choice player]. He’s proved it in the past but he also has to prove it in the present time and in the future. He has played 46 times for England. Harry is really impressive and I expect a lot from him.” – Ten Hag told The Athletic.

The Red Devil’s head coach added;

But there is also internal competition and that is what a club like Man United needs. You cannot win with 11 players. We need a squad. Especially this season with so many games. We have the Europa League, the Premier League and the World Cup, so we need a full squad with high-quality players.”

Maguire is preparing to start his fourth season with United after moving there for £80 million in 2019 from Leicester City, making him the most valuable defender in the world.

The 29-year-old has 144 matches under his belt for United, 11 more than Marcus Rashford, who holds the next-highest total.

Nevertheless, he only started 75.5% of the games in all competitions last season, down from 85.2% the year before and 90.2 in the 2019–20 campaign.

When asked about his choice to keep Maguire as captain, Ten Hag responded that he always views the position as something he controls.

The team building for me is an important point and I always talk about a group of leaders. The captain is a really important one and I’m happy with him. It can help [give him more confidence]. I will support him everywhere I can. In the end, he has to do it by himself, and he has the qualities to do it.” – the Man Utd boss said.

Maguire wasn’t the only United player who had a difficult year; the Red Devils finished sixth in the Premier League with their fewest ever points (58).

Ten Hag has led United to victories in their first two preseason matches against Liverpool and Melbourne Victory, and Premier League side – Crystal Palace. It is clear the new manager is anxious to boost his team’s morale.

You can see that it affects the players. Now we have to cheer them up and motivate them. We are trying to bring the confidence back. That’s one of the important points to get success, that you have self-belief as an individual and as a team. That is a process, individual talks for instance, the positive approach.  Sometimes also you can be highly demanding because that is what we expect and we give them feedback. If they don’t, you ask: ‘Why are you not acting to your standards?’. I want to get the maximum out of the players who are here. I think it belongs to Manchester that you’re always looking for better, for competition, because that is a tool to lift, too.” – Ten Hag said.

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