The club captain’s playing time at Manchester United has been getting progressively less, but Harry Maguire has pledged to keep fighting for his spot.
Erik ten Hag gave Maguire a rare start as he partnered Lisandro Martinez in the center of the Red Devils’ defense as they defeated Charlton 3-0 in the Carabao Cup quarterfinal.
During England’s World Cup journey to the quarterfinals, Maguire also put on a string of composed performances that were supposed to enhance his Manchester United career.
For United’s first four games following the World Cup, Maguire started on the bench, but the 29-year-old played the entire 90 minutes against Bournemouth in the Premier League and against Charlton in the Carabao Cup.
The England player acknowledged that illness had delayed his return from the World Cup, but he claimed that he would compete for a berth in the team.
Maguire told ESPN:
‘It felt good, I played last week as well against Bournemouth.’
‘I was unfortunate in terms of when I come back from the World Cup, I had a bad illness, to be honest, and it knocked me back for one or two weeks.
‘I feel good now.
‘We have a lot of good centre-halves at this club, there’s a lot of competition for places and I’ll keep fighting.’
This year, Ten Hag’s center defense duo has been Raphael Varane and Martinez.
When left-back Luke Shaw started in central defense in recent weeks while Maguire sat on the bench, it appeared as though his long-term prospects at Old Trafford had taken a further hit.
Rio Ferdinand, a former United defender, urged Harry Maguire to request a transfer from the team, calling Ten Hag ‘disrespectful’ for starting Shaw in Shaw’s place.
Maguire was appointed club captain after signing a six-year deal for £80 million to join the Theatre of Dreams in 2019.
However, a little more than three years into his contract, it seems Maguire’s tenure with the team may soon come to an early end.
On Sunday, there were rumors on Twitter that Maguire was about to sign with Aston Villa, but these were swiftly denied.
On Saturday, the defender was spotted at a restaurant close to Bodymoor Heath, where Unai Emery’s team practices. This sparked rumors that the England international might be leaving Old Trafford, but it later turned out that he was playing golf at The Belfry.