Ten Hag warns Harry Maguire that he faces a battle to get back into his Manchester United

Ajax coach Erik ten Hag
Ajax coach Erik ten Hag | Photo Credit: IMAGO

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has told his team captain Harry Maguire that he will have to fight for his place in the first team this season.

The 29-year-old was a regular starter under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick and even started the first two games of the season under the new manager. But he was dropped by ten Hag in their last match against Liverpool with the former Ajax coach, preferring the partnership of Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez in the win against their old foes.

Despite being the team’s captain, ten Hag has suggested that the England international should accept a bit part role this season as rotation of defenders will become a theme this season.

Speaking about Maguire’s involvement in their upcoming Premier League game against Southampton on Saturday, ten Hag said:

“I don’t think it means that when you are captain, you are established to always play, especially when you also have Varane in your squad.

“There is competition, and we need that. Varane’s stature is immense. When the team needed him, he was there.

“His profile, stature and what he won in the past shows he can really contribute. We have so many games and we can see from game to game what we need. There are many options.”

Ten Hag also refused to be dragged into the question of whether there will be a change of captainship at Old Trafford, focusing rather on the leadership qualities of Bruno Fernandes.

“I am not looking so far,” Ten Hag added. 

“We have a leadership group and Harry is one of them, Bruno is one of them. Bruno did quite well as captain. He led by example and he brought so much energy to the team in and out of possession.”