Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has revealed that he has been impressed by the development of club captain Harry Maguire this season.
After a dreadful 2021/22 season, the England defender became a rather unpopular figure at Old Trafford, consistently making errors and sometimes dismissing valid criticisms of his own game.
His role has been significantly reduced under Ten Hag, who has favoured Raphael Varane and summer signing Lisandro Martinez at centre-back instead.
Though Maguire has been largely limited to a bench role – he has made just five Premier League starts all season long – Ten Hag has admitted that the 30-year-old’s progress has been pleasing since his arrival.
“I am really happy with the progress Harry is making at the moment,” Ten Hag said.
“He is more dominant and dictating, taking more initiative on the training pitch and we saw in Seville against Betis [on Thursday] where he showed leadership, especially in those aspects of initiative and dictation of the game.”
Maguire won his first piece of silverware at United when they took home the Carabao Cup at the end of February. Though Bruno Fernandes captained the Red Devils on the day, Maguire came on as a late substitute and they lifted the trophy together.
He also remains a favourite with the England national side, returning to form during their 2022 FIFA World Cup campaign. Maguire was named in Gareth Southgate’s squad for the upcoming March internationals.
On this edition of The Promised Land, part of the 90min podcast network, Scott Saunders and Rob Blanchette discuss Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s meeting with Man Utd, the FA Cup tie with Fulham, reported interest in Jude Bellingham and more. If you can’t see this embed, click here to listen to the podcast!