Manchester United captain Harry Maguire‘s troubles at Old Trafford seem far from over.
According to the reliable David McDonnell, the England international faces a lengthy spell out of action at United “after being ruthlessly axed by boss Erik ten Hag.”
As per McDonnell, Maguire’s most recent snub, which saw him put on the bench against Liverpool alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and Luke Shaw has rendered the player fearful of being “a permanent fixture on the bench.”
“It is understood Maguire was told as early as last Thursday he would not start against Liverpool, with Ten Hag preferring Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez in central defence,” the journalist writes.
Maguire’s position is said to have caused rivals to circle for the player, with Chelsea already expressing interest in the 29-year-old.
The World Cup is only months away and Maguire would face an uphill task to get into England manager Gareth Southgate’s squad, who requires his starters to be regulars at their clubs, if he was benched long-term at United.
McDonnell believes that the situation could lead other clubs to try to unsettle Maguire and lure him away from Old Trafford.
“With eight days left before the transfer window shuts, clubs could look to exploit the uncertainty around Maguire by moving for the 29-year-old, with Chelsea having already expressed interest in him,” he says.
What will worry the United captain is that the Dutch manager is set to keep faith in Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane, who along with Tyrell Malacia and Diogo Dalot formed a formidable unit yesterday night.
The same back four is expected to start on Saturday against Southampton.
“Despite retaining Maguire as captain in the summer, Ten Hag warned the £80million defender the armband would not save him from the chop if he did not perform,” the Mirror reporter explains.
“So it has proved.”
Supporters will be pleased that Ten Hag has wasted no time in imposing himself and has shown he has the courage to make tough decisions.