The 2022/23 campaign was a bit of a poor one for England and Manchester United centre half, Harry Maguire, as although he did get games, it was far fewer than he had been accustomed to since moving to Old Trafford and particularly over the summer, it looked like his future lay elsewhere having seriously fallen down manager Erik ten Hag’s pecking order.
Ten Hag in fact, made little secret of suggesting the 30 year old should move on to secure more minutes, and for a long time it looked like West Ham United manager David Moyes would end up taking him to London, but Maguire rejected that offer to fight for his place. Many thought this would be a mistake, and the opening weeks proved that with hardly any match minutes going his way, but with injuries hitting, last weekend he made his fifth start of the season, and his form is now keeping Champions League winner, Raphael Varane, on the bench.
“I played a few games last year, I just didn’t play as many as I would have liked. I had two or three opportunities to get a run of games but I broke down with illness and broke down with injuries twice, so I never got the rhythm and never got the run of games so I could prove myself to the manager. I really enjoy playing for this club and I was willing to stay and fight for my place.”
With five starts to his name already, he is only a few off the eight starts he made last year.
“You use your experience and the memories you’ve had. I had to work hard in training to make sure I was ready. There was a lot of talk about me because I wasn’t playing games, but I was playing well for my country, went to the World Cup and always thought my form was there. But I am up against some top-level centre-backs and last year they were playing amazingly, so I didn’t get as many opportunities as I would have liked. This club demands competition for places and that is what we have in my position.”
With Maguire closing in on 200 starting appearances for the Red Devil’s since making his £80 million move from Leicester City back in the summer of 2019, there will be those who feel his vindication could be short lived given the current uncertainty at United with takeover talk and unknowns plans going forward.
Given where he was, Maguire would definitely take this though and whatever is around the corner can be dealt with when he gets there.