Harry Maguire responds to being ruthlessly benched by Erik ten Hag at Man Utd
Harry Maguire insists he has been working hard to make sure he’s ready to step back into the first team at Manchester United after being benched by Erik ten Hag.
Club captain Maguire started the season at centre-back alongside new signing Lisandro Martinez, but has since lost his place to Raphael Varane. The £80m defender has played just 10 Premier League minutes since starting in a 4-0 defeat at Brentford in August, though he has also featured against Real Sociedad and FC Sheriff in the Europa League.
The 29-year-old got a run-out for England at the San Siro, with Gareth Southgate’s side losing to a Giacomo Raspadori goal. Maguire didn’t look out of place in Milan despite his lack of recent involvement, and he remains determined to prove his worth to his club boss.
“I am all good, ready to play, I feel fit and fresh,” Maguire told talkSPORT. “On my form, I don’t know what has been said, I don’t really read about it.
“I came off the back of three positive games with England in the summer, and a good pre-season, I felt really good. Obviously, the manager [Erik ten Hag] decided to leave me out for a game, and the team have been winning since.
“I am working hard on the training pitch to make sure I am ready for when my opportunity comes. That is all what I can do to try and help the team.
Maguire has been a regular for Gareth Southgate, winning all 47 of his senior England caps under the current manager. Opinions of him have been split, with Giorgio Chiellini among those to defend the Man Utd man amid criticism from other quarters, but Maguire has explained where his focus lies.
“I am not concentrating on anybody else and what people are saying,” he continued, “I think if people can make a story about me, I am Manchester United captain, it is going to make big news.
“So, that is the reason they do it, they like the clicks, and things like that, but I went into the Euros after an eight-week injury, and did not play one game, and got into the team of the tournament. In terms of rustiness, and things like that, I am sure that won’t happen.”
Southgate himself acknowledged Maguire’s club situation was not ideal with the World Cup just two months away. However, he defender the decision to include the former Leicester man – along with some other out-of-favour stars – in his latest squad.
“Clearly, we have a number of players including Ben Chilwell, Luke Shaw, Harry Maguire and Kalvin Phillips who are not playing a lot of minutes with their club,” Southgate said. “It is not ideal, but we feel they have been, and can be, important players for us. It is not a perfect situation but there is still a lot of football to be played before Qatar.”