Harry Maguire believes that by forcing his way back into Erik ten Hag’s squad, he has validated his decision to stay and compete for a position at Manchester United.
After losing his starting spot and losing the captaincy during the summer, the 30-year-old’s future appeared to be brighter outside of Old Trafford. However, a possible transfer to West Ham or another team did not happen.
And Maguire, the defender who is currently under criticism, never wavered in his belief in his ability to win back his spot at United.
Many thought that was unrealistic, but he has succeeded in starting the England international in their previous eight games across all competitions.
When asked if staying at United feels like personal validation, Maguire replied, “Of course.”
“I felt like I played quite well in the games I played in last year—I started 16 or 17 of them. Just not as many as I would have liked to play.
However, Licha (Lisandro Martinez) and Rapha (Varane) were performing outstandingly and had a string of clean sheets. I had to be patient and bide my time.
“Last season, I had two or three chances to get a run of games, but I missed them both due to illness and injury, so I never developed a rhythm or a run of games that would have allowed me to show the manager how good I was.
“It’s all clear now; I’m having a great time playing football and for this team.
“We have four or five excellent international centre backs at this club, so there is a lot of competition for spots, but I was willing to stay and fight for mine.”
Over the last six weeks, Maguire has taken advantage of injuries and demonstrated an amazing mentality—which is perhaps not surprising for a player who has endured years of unrelenting ridicule.
Following September’s victory in Scotland against the backdrop of abuse from Hampden Park, England manager Gareth Southgate described the treatment he received as “ridiculous,” “a joke,” and “beyond anything I’ve ever seen.”
As he continued to ignore the criticism and abuse, Maguire dismissed it as “banter” and claimed that his career to date had helped him maintain a level of confidence that many would have thought had been damaged.
The United defender stated, “The most important thing is to work hard in training and make sure you’re ready.” However, I felt like my form was there last year when I started 16 or 17 games.
Since I wasn’t playing games, I was the subject of a lot of conversation, but that is how things are.
“I thought my form was there, I played well for my country, and I went to the World Cup.”
“Unfortunately, I didn’t get as many opportunities as I would have liked since I play against some of the best centre backs in the world, and they were playing fantastically last year.
“We have competition for spots in this club, and that is what I have.”
Maguire’s attention is now on England-related issues prior to United’s reunion and return to improvement after a 1-0 victory against Luton on Saturday.
Although it was the fourth victory in five Premier League games, there still needs to be progress in front of goal.
Ineffective With Rasmus Hojlund, Alejandro Garnacho, Antony Martial, and Anthony Martial still without a Premier League goal, Marcus Rashford has only scored once this season.
Everyone will be talking about that, according to Maguire. “I train with the forwards every day of the week, and I play with the boys at United and the England internationals next week.”
“All of the best players are capable of scoring goals. We are aware that we are not scoring enough goals at the moment.
“However, I see clearly that we aren’t keeping enough clean bedding either.
“I believe you’ve seen in the past that our attackers are capable, elite players.
Perhaps if they are lucky enough to obtain the first one, the rest will fall into place. Since they are all excellent players, I have no doubt that they will.
Hojlund’s domestic problems are especially unexpected considering that no player has scored more goals in the Champions League group stage than the summer acquisition.
Ras is a very good player, said Maguire. “I believe you’ve witnessed in the last several weeks his dedication to the squad and his work ethic. He is much more than just a goal scorer.
“You’ve seen him score goals in the Champions League, and he scores goals in training. I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before he bangs a few in the Premier League too.”