Erik ten Hag has challenged Harry Maguire to duplicate his England form with Manchester United in order to reclaim his place in the Red Devils starting lineup.
Maguire earned just three Premier League starts for Manchester United this season before heading to the World Cup with England, where he appeared in all five games as the team advanced to the quarter-finals.
Gareth Southgate has regularly endorsed Ten Hag on the international stage, but Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez have emerged as Ten Hag’s favourite combo at United this season.
Following England’s defeat to France on Sunday, Ten Hag feels Maguire can return to Old Trafford with confidence following his great performances in Qatar.
“I can only support him. “I’ve been asked many times if he’s talented enough [to play for me], and it’s evident he’s good enough to play at the highest level,” United manager Sir Alex Ferguson remarked.
“And then it’s up to him to display that confidence on the field, which he didn’t do in all of United’s games.”
“When he plays with confidence, as he is now, he is a hugely important player for us, and that is what everyone expects.” That is what Harry anticipates from himself.
“He has that high standard; he wants to play at the greatest level and lead the defensive line, so it’s up to him.” I’m confident he has the ability to play in our style and fit into our system.
“He has virtually always had good games for England.” He had a rough spell at Manchester and, of course, there are obstacles, but when he is confident in himself, he will show it on the pitch.
“When he works hard, he gains confidence, and you can see that with the way he plays for England.”
“We want him to bring that back to Manchester with him so he can bring it to Manchester United on the field.” I know what I expect from him, and the team knows what they expect from him. If he can accomplish that, he’ll be a fantastic player for us.”
Maguire missed parts of United’s Premier League campaign due to a hamstring injᴜry, but even when he was fit, Ten Hag preferred Martinez, Varane, and Victor Lindelof over the 29-year-old.
Ten Hag has stated that he has no issues with Maguire and that good performances will lead to a return to the starting XI.
“My choice of Rapha [Varane] has nothing to do with Harry,” he continued. “Sometimes it’s because one player is far superior to the other.
“However, I believe I have two or three good players in the right centre-back position.”
“After Brentford, I knew I had to make a change.” He was unlucky that time was awful for him, but that doesn’t imply anything about his ability or my view of his ability.
“Rapha came in and is doing an excellent job. There are rules of the game in top football, and you must take your chances. Your opportunity will always arrive.
“All he needs to do is train well, perform well, he has games, he has rhythm, and his opportunity will come.” He’ll get a chance to show it, and then he’ll be in and play.”
“Only when he doesn’t want to be in these circumstances any longer,” Ten Hag said of Maguire’s future. I am content with him for the time being.
“I’ve told him and you, and there’s nothing further I can do.” It is his responsibility to contribute and integrate himself into the team.
“We have 16 to 18 guys in the roster, which is what you need at the top level to compete for trophies.” All of the games we have to cover, and then it is about the players who form the best squad, which team we will select. It has nothing to do with personal feelings.”