Gary Neville backs England defender Harry Maguire to bounce back at Manchester United
Manchester United icon Gary Neville has backed England star Harry Maguire to bounce back at the club after a poor few months. The ex-Red Devil empathises with the 29-year-old, who is currently going through a difficult period at the Old Trafford side.
But while the centre-back has had a hard time at the Manchester-based club, he has been performing up to the mark with the Three Lions. The defender has continued to be in good vein for Gareth Southgate’s team at the World Cup in Qatar.
Speaking on Sky Sports (h/t The Daily Mail), Neville, who spent a little over 19 years with United, acknowledged Maguire’s performances for England. However, he recognises the tough spell the 29-year-old is going through with the Red Devils.
“Harry is a good player and a good centre-back who has been brilliant at the last two tournaments – he’s just had an awful time at United in the last 12 months and United is a very unforgiving place, I know that from being there for 20 years.
“If something isn’t right, that place can eat you alive, and Harry is just getting that at the moment. But I think he will come through it at United.”
The centre-back has lost his place in the Old Trafford side’s starting lineup under Erik ten Hag. He has not been performing well since last season. But the Dutch manager’s arrival has seen him get relegated to the bench.
Maguire was involved in the opening two fixtures of the former Ajax head coach’s reign in Manchester. Unfortunately, we lost both games and were poor defensively.
Subsequently, Ten Hag decided to pair Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez in the backline at United. And the French and Argentine duo have been the Dutch manager’s preferred choice this season.
While the 29-year-old has fallen down the pecking order in Manchester, the England manager has still shown faith in him. The centre-back was pivotal to Southgate’s plans at the 2018 World Cup and Euro 2020.
Maguire has vindicated his selection with his displays in Qatar. The defender has been impressive for the Three Lions at the prestigious tournament in the Middle East.
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He would hope that Ten Hag is keeping an eye on him and reinstates him into the starting XI. On a personal level, he would be aware of how tough it can be, with Martinez also starring for Argentina and Varane being manager Didier Deschamps’ trusted centre-back in the same competition.