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Erik ten Hag says Harry Maguire can be a great player for Man Utd, speaks on his future

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag wants to see Harry Maguire playing with more confidence when the season restarts following the World Cup.

The centre-back had been an undisputed starter for United for the past three seasons, but has lost his starting spot under Ten Hag during the current campaign.

Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez have been picked over him regularly while Victor Lindelof has also got the nod when the former has been injured.

Despite this, Ten Hag has often spoken fondly about the club captain and wants the 29-year-old to play with the same confidence as he does for England.

The Dutchman added that he will be a great player for the club if he can replicate his performances for the Three Lions from their World Cup campaign.

He told The Athletic: “He has, for England, good games almost all the time,. He had a period in Manchester where he performed badly and then of course there are difficulties — but when he is confident in himself, he will put that on the pitch.”

“When he is working hard, you will get that confidence and you are seeing that with the way he is playing for England. We want him to bring that back to Manchester United. I expect from him, the team knows what they expect from him. If he does that, he will be a great player for us.”

When pressed on Maguire’s future, Ten Hag added that he is happy with the centre-back at the moment and any decision over a future exit would depend on the England star as he won’t give assurances of regular playing time.

He added: “Only when he doesn’t want to be in these circumstances anymore. Until that moment, I am happy with him. I have said it to him and you, I can do nothing more.”

“It is up to him to contribute to play himself into the team. We have 16-18 players in the squad and that is what you need at the top level if you want to play for trophies.”

Maguire has chance to redeem himself

Varane and Martinez are currently at the World Cup with France and Argentina respectively and may not be available for a couple of games against Burnley and Nottingham Forest.

United have opted to give a week’s rest to their World Cup stars and it is unlikely that the above duo will be reinstated directly into the line-up without any team training.

Hence, Maguire has an excellent chance to redeem himself. He will be starting the Carabao Cup fourth round tie against Burnley on December 21 alongside Lindelof.

The €30 million-rated star should also keep his place for the league game against Forest on December 27. If he can stand out, Ten Hag could be tempted to continue with him.

We have already seen that the manager likes to reward players after strong performances. Scott McTominay managed to keep Casemiro benched for several weeks.

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