What Man Utd players think about Harry Maguire being captain under Erik ten Hag
Erik ten Hag's Man Utd in-tray
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Manchester United players are reportedly ‘split’ over whether Harry Maguire should continue as captain under Erik ten Hag. The England international suffered a huge dip in form this season as the club finished sixth in the Premier League table. And there are three candidates to replace him as skipper behind the scenes.
Manchester United have had Maguire as captain ever since January 2020, when Ashley Young quit the club to join Serie A giants Inter Milan.
But the England international has often struggled for consistency during his time at Old Trafford, with the 29-year-old currently in the spotlight.
Ten Hag insisted on Monday that Maguire would be part of his plans, though stopped short of guaranteeing him the armband.
And ESPN say members of the squad are ‘split’ over whether the England star should lead the team going forward.
Maguire’s job as captain has become harder ever since the Hollywood homecoming of Cristiano Ronaldo back in the summer.
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The Portugal international had been expected to join Manchester City but, on deadline day, returned to Old Trafford instead.
And Ronaldo is listed as one of the potential replacement for Maguire as captain.
Bruno Fernandes is another candidate, despite the Portugal international’s own form dipping this term.
And David De Gea is a third option, with the Spain international one of the last disciples of the Sir Alex Ferguson era.
Maguire is apparently not even guaranteed to be a starter when Ten Hag arrives due to his lack of pace.
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The 52-year-old likes to play with a high line, which is part of the reason he’s eyeing the likes of Jurrien Timber and Pau Torres – of Ajax and Villarreal respectively.
Ten Hag apparently wants players to return from pre-season as early as possible as he looks to make his mark.
United will have a hectic schedule, however, with the club poised to tour Thailand and Australia.
And whether United can fare better under the Dutchman than predecessors such as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick remains to be seen.
Addressing Maguire’s situation earlier in the week, Ten Hag said: “I have to repeat that next season is a different season but I think he did a great job.
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“He’s a great player, he’s achieved already a lot really also [with his] contribution to Manchester United.
“So I’m looking forward to working with him.”
Maguire, meanwhile, spoke about Ten Hag before United’s Premier League defeat to Crystal Palace on Sunday.
And he said: “The lads have not seen or spoken to him yet.
“I am sure he has an eye on our game and fixture today.
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“We are all looking forward to working with him.”
If Maguire does lose the captaincy, it will mean yet another new skipper for United in the years since Ferguson quit.
When Nemanja Vidic left in 2014, Wayne Rooney replaced him in the role – fending off competition from Darren Fletcher.
After Rooney’s departure in 2017, Luis Antonio Valencia was given the armband.
And, after Rooney, came Young – who had been at the club for eight years before getting the honour.
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