In a heartening post-match interview, Manchester United’s defender, Harry Maguire, basked in the glow of being named Player of the Match for his outstanding performance against the struggling Sheffield United.
The past year has been quite challenging for the England international, with his first-team opportunities dwindling since Erik ten Hag took the reins in May the previous year. Maguire found himself trailing behind the likes of Lisandro Martinez, Victor Lindelof, and Raphael Varane in the pecking order at Old Trafford, a situation that led to his captaincy being rightfully stripped away.
During the summer, Maguire’s name was swirling in the transfer rumor mill, with West Ham and Aston Villa reportedly expressing interest. Nevertheless, he remained steadfast in his determination to fight for his place, despite the ongoing speculations regarding his future.
After enduring a trying period, it seems that the 30-year-old is now hitting a stride of much-needed form. Maguire was granted his first Premier League start of the season in the match against Brentford on October 7th, a game they managed to clinch thanks to a late brace by Scott McTominay.
Then, on a Saturday night, Ten Hag included Maguire in the starting lineup for their encounter with Sheffield United. The center-back showcased his prowess in considerable portions of the match at Bramall Lane, registering three clearances, three blocks, and a commendable 82 percent pass accuracy.
At the conclusion of the game, Maguire received well-deserved recognition alongside the goal scorer, Dalot, an acknowledgment that clearly held great meaning to him.
Erik ten Hag had nothing but praise for Maguire after his standout performance, expressing in his post-match interview with Sky Sports: “I think it was deserved, and he played a very good game. He showed personality and played very good football, reading the game very well. I am happy with this performance from him.”
Ten Hag continued by sharing his satisfaction with the team’s victory, emphasizing the importance of finding a way to win. He analyzed the game, saying, “The first half was not the best game from our side, and after we went 1-0 up, we conceded a goal too quickly. I think in the second half, we controlled the game and secured a great victory.”
Sheffield United’s approach to the game garnered its share of compliments from Ten Hag: “Sheffield, their approach in the game, they had a lot of energy. They played a slightly different system than what we expected, and we had to adapt more quickly, read the situation, and take better control of the game while organizing ourselves.”
What are your thoughts on Maguire’s performance against Sheffield United? Do you believe he should be given more playing time? Share your opinions in the comments below.