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Harry Maguire to remain at Manchester United; will be stripped of captaincy

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By Martin Graham | 24th Jun 2022

Latest reports have confirmed that Manchester United’s new manager Erik ten Hag will count on the abilities of Harry Maguire ahead of next season but as a normal player and not the captain.

Maguire signed for the Red Devils in 2019 from Leicester City for £80 million, making him the world’s most expensive defender. United featured him in every league game that season because it would be foolhardy to sign a player for that much and not give them games.

In the next six months, he was given the armband and has worn it ever since. But it seemed like the weight of leadership was too much for him to bear as his performance started to dip and he became the source of anguish for a lot of fans.

His second season saw him play four fewer games than he did in his debut campaign and it was more of the same: good spells followed by painfully long spells of defensive errors that kept getting him criticism from the media and serious flak from fans.

He played four fewer games in the 2021/22 season and by the end of the season, fans had had enough. The arrival of ten Hag from Ajax Amsterdam in May to begin the overhaul of the squad ahead of the 2022/23 season got fans hoping that the club will move Maguire on.

However, the Dutch manager is now confirmed to be interested in working with the 29-year-old, who is an important figure in the England Three Lions set-up.

Ten Hag believes in Maguire’s abilities

Maguire was also said to be preparing for an exit from the club following the arrival of the former Ajax manager in May. However, to his reported surprise, he has been assured of his continuity in the team and his freedom from the burden of leadership.

ten Hag has spoken to the media about how he can get the best out of the former Leicester City man and that fans should not write him off yet. His aim in the coming season is to pick up Maguire’s confidence and piece it together for his abilities to shine forth.

The first step will be to hand the burden of leadership over to another more composed player. Ten Hag has left that decision up to the players who are reportedly considering Cristiano Ronaldo and David De Gea for the role.

Martin Graham is an MFF sports writer

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