Man Utd insider claims ‘mediocre’ defender would ‘thrive’ under Guardiola at City for two reasons

·3-min read
Man Utd star under Guardiola Credit: Alamy
Man Utd star under Guardiola Credit: Alamy

According to reports, there is a feeling at Man Utd that Harry Maguire would ‘thrive’ at Manchester City if he worked under Pep Guardiola.

The centre-back has rightly been criticised over the past couple of seasons as his performances have declined.

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The Englishman has fallen down the pecking order under Erik ten Hag, who has preferred to use Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane when he has a fully fit squad to choose from.

Maguire is under contract until 2025 but a dramatic upturn in form is needed for him to get back to playing regularly for Man Utd when Martinez and Varane are both available for selection.

The 30-year-old has been linked with a loan move to Serie A in recent days, with AC Milan, Inter Milan and Juventus understood to be interested in him.

But a new report from The Athletic’s Adam Crafton claims Maguire’s preference is to remain at Man Utd as he wants to ‘fight’ for his place under Ten Hag.

In the same article, Maguire’s £80m move to Man Utd from Leicester City is discussed. The report notes ‘Guardiola perceived Maguire as being capable of replacing club legend Kompany’ but Man City refused to offer more than £70m for the defender.

Crafton goes into great detail while analysing Maguire’s struggles at Man Utd. But, interestingly, ‘a former member of staff on the football side at United’ has revealed why the centre-back would have ‘thrived’ at City.

‘One former member of staff on the football side at United concludes that Maguire was a good player in a dysfunctional environment, who he believes would have thrived at City with the stability and tactical acumen of Guardiola.’

Ex-Crystal Palace owner Simon Jordan is far less forgiving of Maguire, who has apparently been outed as a ‘mediocre centre half’.

‘Harry Maguire, a mediocre centre half who is being picked by a man who knows all about being a mediocre centre half, will again be on England’s team sheet on Thursday night,’ Jordan wrote for The Daily Mail.

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‘While, seemingly, Maguire goes into the shop window as a member of Gareth Southgate’s defence in Naples, I do question what the future holds.

‘”Why Maguire has to leave United,” was one headline at the weekend. I’m not so sure how easily that happens.

‘His direction of travel this season is not a positive one. Think about it. For the first time in his career, Maguire has an elite manager determining his future.

‘And for the first time in his career, he isn’t being picked. What does that tell you about all those involved? Good enough for Southgate, not in the frame for Erik ten Hag.

‘He remains the world’s most expensive defender, but he took advantage of the landscape of mediocrity that existed at United before this fella came. Really, he is a pumped-up, decent, mid-ranking central defender.’

READ MORE: De Gea escapes as ‘hapless’ Maguire takes bullets for Man Utd’s ‘unstoppable juggernaut’


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