“We’re positive” – Solskjaer hopeful that Harry Maguire will return for Europa League final

Solskjaer remains hopeful that Manchester United skipper Harry Maguire will return for the Europa League final

According to The Daily Mail, Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer yet retains hope that skipper Harry Maguire will return in time for the Europa League final against Villarreal.

The 28-year-old is the best central defender on our books and is a difference-maker at the back. He has not played for the club since getting injured against Aston Villa earlier in the month.

While he has been all but ruled out for the remainder of our Premier League campaign, Solskjaer is hopeful he will return in time to face Villarreal on May 26.

“I’ve always been an optimist so we’re positive.”

Solskjaer remains hopeful that Manchester United skipper Harry Maguire will return for the Europa League final
Maguire could be out for the rest of then season

Solskjaer has now revealed that the club is not keen to test Maguire despite his progress, fearing an aggravation of the injury. The defender had damaged the ligaments on his left ankle.

“He’s making progress but we’ve consciously taken the route of not testing him out too quickly because we don’t want to aggravate something.”

Maguire, for his part, is also keen to play in the Europa League final. He is not keen to take any risks either and will hope he will be available at Gdansk.

“Harry wants this so much, so he doesn’t want to take any risks either.”

Harry Maguire in action for Manchester United. (GETTY Images)
Harry Maguire in action for Manchester United. (GETTY Images)

More hope than expectation?

Solskjaer’s words hint at optimism rather than being rooted in reality. Maguire isn’t just our best defender but also our leader on the pitch.

His absence was palpable in our last two games against Leicester City and Liverpool. The latter sliced through our backline at will and showcased just what a difference the Englishman’s absence makes.

“Harry is our leader and our captain. He’s been more or less ever-present. He is a big miss at the moment. I will give him as long as he needs, until he says yes or no.”

Manchester United vs Liverpool Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof struggled
Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof struggled against Liverpool

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While having Maguire back against Villarreal would be a massive boost, United should avoid forcing the issue if he is not completely fit.

Playing him in such a scenario would do more damage than good. Mauricio Pochettino found that the hard way when he prematurely started Harry Kane in the 2019 Champions League final against Liverpool.

Solskjaer will do well to avoid that pitfall. After all, he has enough quality in his squad otherwise to get the better of the Spaniards.