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Man United’s coaching staff ‘STILL have concerns over Harry Maguire’s defending’ – despite his fruitful displays on international duty with England – ‘fearing he lacks mobility and rushes out of defence too often’
- Erik ten Hag has slashed Harry Maguire’s game time this season at Man United
- Maguire has hardly played, missing out to Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez
- The coaches at Carrington still have concerns over the England star’s defending
Manchester United’s coaching staff continue to have concerns over Harry Maguire’s defensive ability, according to reports.
The England centre-half has struggled for meaningful game time since Erik ten Hag’s arrival last summer, regularly losing out to first team stalwarts Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez – and on occasion to hybrid defender and international team-mate Luke Shaw.
Maguire became the world’s most expensive defender in 2019 after his £80million switch from Leicester to Old Trafford and has since taken on the responsibility of club captain at United, despite struggling to justify his hefty price tag.
His lack of minutes under Ten Hag has not influenced the view of England boss Gareth Southgate, who started the centre-half in both of the Three Lions’ Euro 2024 qualifiers against Italy and Ukraine.
At Carrington, Manchester United’s training base, the coaching staff reportedly still have questions over the defender’s qualities at the back.
Manchester United’s coaching staff ‘still have concerns over Harry Maguire’s defensive ability’
Erik ten Hag has axed Maguire in favour of Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez this season
Ten Hag’s men fear that Maguire lacks mobility in defence – a key quality in the modern game – and rushes out of the back line too frequently, according to ESPN.
Since removing him from the starting line-up, the Red Devils have prospered across all competitions, surging to third in the Premier League, winning the Carabao Cup and carving out a fruitful run in the Europa League.
Maguire must also compete with Victor Lindelof, his centre-back partner for much of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s reign at the club, should he wish to win his place back in the United’s defence.
The England star will consider his options at the end of the season following a turbulent campaign at Old Trafford, with a permanent exit or loan move away the most likely scenarios as it stands.
Gareth Southgate has continued to select Maguire for England despite his lack of game time
Regular game time will no doubt be important for Maguire as he bids to keep his place under Southgate ahead of the European Championships next year.
He said in February: ‘I’m the club captain and I have a big responsibility on and off the pitch, so it was nice to get on and help the lads.
‘The manager has been asked numerous times about my role in interviews and he tells me honestly that he believes in me, but this is football.
‘The lads who are playing and starting, Raphael is playing really well and we’ve seen the manager’s ideas, what he wants, and he does like a left-footed centre-back playing.
The England defender reportedly had a spat with Cristiano Ronaldo over captaincy last season
‘So it’s high competition for places, but this is Manchester United. We want to win trophies, big trophies, and to do that you need competition.
‘The manager speaks to me daily, he really respects me and believes that I’m a top centre-half with all the attributes to play in his team.
‘But also he understands that the players who are playing – and I understand that the players who are playing – are playing very well.’
Maguire was reportedly involved in a bust-up with Cristiano Ronaldo over captaincy last campaign, with the Portuguese icon eager to take the armband off his team-mate, despite spending less time at the club since his return to Old Trafford.