MANCHESTER UNITED star Harry Maguire has started just three games this season since Erik ten Hag was appointed manager.
Manchester United has played eight games this season. Erik ten Hag’s tenure began with defeats to Brighton and Brentford, but while they have since lost to Real Sociedad, they have also secured five victories. As a result, Express Sport will now look at five players who have had a rough start to the season and appear to be in trouble of breaking into the Dutchman’s starting XI.
Mr. Harry Maguire
Back in the summer, Ten Hag backed Harry Maguire and said the 29-year-old will continue to lead Manchester United.
However, only eight games into the Dutchman’s tenure as manager, the England international appears to be the odd man out.
Maguire was awful in the defeats to Brentford and Brighton, and he didn’t shine in the recent 1-0 setback to Sociedad at Old Trafford.
In Ten Hag’s current pecking order, the former Leicester City player is behind both Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane.
While Maguire has been called up to the England squad for upcoming matches against Italy and Germany, it is evident that he will face a tough battle to regain his place in the club’s starting XI.
Wan-Bissaka Aaron Wan-Bissaka
Ten Hag was open to releasing Aaron Wan-Bissaka in the summer, saying the former Crystal Palace star isn’t good enough for a club the size and grandeur of Manchester United.
However, after John Murtough pleaded with the Dutchman to give the 24-year-old an opportunity, the Dutchman was forced to keep the right-back.
Wan-Bissaka has yet to make an appearance for United this season and will face competition from Diogo Dalot for the right-back position.
With Ten Hag seeking to recruit a new right-back in January, the full-time back’s at the club appears to be coming to an end.
A return to London has been discussed, with Palace interested in their former defender throughout the summer window.
Van de Beek, Donny
Many people expected Donny van de Beek to profit from Ten Hag’s appointment as United’s new manager when it was announced earlier this year.
However, while he has missed the last month or two owing to injury, there is no assurance that his situation in Manchester will improve.
United’s midfield has found a successful combination, with Scott McTominay and Christian Eriksen thriving alongside Bruno Fernandes.
With the Red Devils also having Casemiro at their disposal these days, Van de Beek is quickly becoming a forgotten guy.
He’s only started four Premier League games in three years and was benched for all three of Ten Hag’s first three matches in charge before suffering an injury.
This season, Fred has started three games for United.
And the club has not picked up a single point in any of them.
The Brazil international is a useful player for United, but with the addition of Casemiro, he is now sixth in Ten Hag’s favorite midfield.
His contract is set to expire next summer, but the Red Devils will extend it in order to prevent losing him for free.
As a result, this appears to be a pivotal year for Fred because, if he is unable to establish himself as a regular in the starting XI, a split is possible.
Martin Dubravka joined United on the final day of the transfer window, on a loan from Newcastle.
However, the former Newcastle United player has yet to make a single appearance for the club.
Many expected Dubravka to start in the Europa League, but he was benched for the loss to Sociedad and left out entirely for Thursday’s 2-0 win over Sheriff in Moldova.
Dubravka appears to be lower in Ten Hag’s pecking order than veteran Tom Heaton.
So it’s difficult to imagine him getting much game time in the coming weeks and months, especially since he’s already out in the cold so soon after his arrival.]