Erik ten Hag has reportedly risked a Manchester United dressing room riot by allowing Harry Maguire to go on holiday while he was injured and miss their Europa League game against Omonia Nicosia. According to sources, the captain flew to Portugal earlier this week to “clear his thoughts” after a rough moment on the field, and his teammates have expressed their displeasure with the exception granted to him.
Maguire was granted time off by the Dutch coach while he was injured, and he flew to the popular golf resort Quinta do Lagofor in Albufeira, Portugal. Several hundred miles away in Cyprus, his teammates stumbled to a 3-2 Europa League win over Omonia.
According to The Sun, Ten Hag is ‘desperate’ for the center-back to regain his best form after a dismal year on the pitch for both club and country, with his position in the team under threat at Old Trafford from Lisandro Martinez.
Ten Hag deemed it appropriate for Maguire to miss the trip to Nicosia because he was already out, and the club allowed his last-ditch attempt to catch some sun in October.
“Harry was given permission to travel to Portugal to continue his recovery while the rest of the squad was in Cyprus, allowing him to benefit from the same warm weather conditions,” a United official stated.
However, his players have expressed concern that Ten Hag and Maguire have blatantly violated his own regulations, as he had previously made a point of requiring injured players to stay with the team at the club’s training base in Carrington to work on their fitness.
The newest schism in club ties follows the humbling 6-3 derby defeat to Manchester City, with allegations of clashes and angry conversations emerging as emotions threatened to boil over.
Martinez and Bruno Fernandes were two players who expressed their displeasure in the locker room at halftime, while Scott McTominay was also mentioned in the ‘frank and passionate’ talk following a post-game analysis session on Monday.
Ten Hag recently openly supported the under-fire defender after he made two high-profile errors in England’s 3-3 draw with Germany, stating he was “convinced” Maguire could turn things around.
“I have to support him, but I support him because I believe in him,” he explained.
“I see the qualities, and even when he wasn’t on the squad, he trained incredibly hard, and more importantly, the quality was there.”
“You look at his career, almost 50 caps for England, Leicester, and Manchester United – he’s doing incredibly well, and what you see is high potential.”
“Then it’s all about him.” The players in the locker room, the coaches, and the management all have faith in him. That’s what I told him; I’m confident he can accomplish it and will turn things around.”