Michael Owen believes it would be a shock for Manchester United captain Harry Maguire to leave this summer, despite the addition of Casemiro.
Maguire and United made headlines in 2019 by agreeing to make the 29-year-old the most expensive defender in the world. While he impressed in early parts of his tenure, he has suffered rocky form since.
Former manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer assured Maguire of his status by making him the Red Devils captain.
However, new boss Erik ten Hag has not been so forgiving. The Dutchman has dropped the England international for the past two Premier League games against Liverpool and Southampton.
And Man Utd have got on fine without him, with new signing Lisandro Martinez forming a bond with Raphael Varane.
According to former United striker Owen, the extra addition of Casemiro into the midfield puts Maguire in a threatened position.
“He [Ten Hag] has now got a bit of protection as well with Casemiro signing, so I think that whole situation is looking good at the moment,” Owen told Premier League Productions. “Where does that leave Maguire?
“He has got a really big decision to make. But what he has got is a World Cup in a couple of months and he is an integral part of the England team.
“What he will be thinking is ‘I want to get back in the United team, but my World Cup place [could be in doubt] as well’.”
Maguire won’t leave Man Utd
But Owen insisted that he cannot see Maguire leaving and instead backed the central defender to stick it out.
“It is really interesting; he is the club captain and he might be thinking about going on loan somewhere,” Owen said.
“But I can’t imagine Manchester United letting him go out on loan, especially being the club captain. Personally, I think he will stay and just have to ride it out.”
Maguire has played 146 games for Man Utd, scoring seven goals and chipping in with five assists.
United man faces defining few months
Maguire indeed faces a key few months of his career. He has been front and centre of United ever since signing, despite his continued struggles.
Only now is he seeing the consequences of those struggles; Ten Hag has had other ideas by signing Martinez and he has slotted in well alongside Varane.
The worry for Maguire is that it is unwise to change a winning – or at least working – formula.
Martinez and Varane look like a solid pairing and if Maguire continues to stay on the bench, talk over his future will only ramp up.
What’s more, Chelsea previously had interest, but they have finally got a deal over the line for Wesley Fofana.
Maguire will feel confident of getting more minutes and will have his eyes on the September internationals with England. He is one of a number of core players in Three Lions manager Gareth Southgate’s thinking.
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