Former Manchester United star Dwight Yorke has criticised manager Erik ten Hag for the way he handled Harry Maguire’s potential exit during the summer.
The Dutch boss was willing to let the experienced defender leave in the previous transfer window after removing him as team captain.
But despite interest from West Ham United, the 30-year-old decided to stay at United and fight for his place.
And that has proved to be a good move for Maguire as he has seen a huge revival in his fortunes at Old Trafford.
The England international is now Ten Hag’s preferred option in central defence ahead of Raphael Varane.
Yorke praised Maguire for his courage and resilience but criticised the United boss for the way he handled the player during the summer.
He told the Daily Mail: “Listen, I’m happy for the kid. If I was in Ten Hag’s position, I would have dealt with it differently.
“In hindsight, it’s easy for me to sit on the outside and say certain things but, yeah, it’s good for him to come back and do what he’s done. It takes a lot of courage.
“I think when people are calling for your head and you’re getting out of the club it’s hard to turn that around.
Even though he seems to have had the last couple of weeks go for him, I still think we are in for a very difficult time whether Harry Maguire is there or not.”
Maguire deserves plenty of praise
Maguire deserves appreciation for transforming his fortunes at United.
The last two seasons saw him receive plenty of criticism from fans whenever something went wrong.
He was stripped of the captaincy and made a fifth-choice centre-back, with Ten Hag preferring left-back Luke Shaw over him.
Maguire was expected to leave the club in the summer, but he made the bold decision to stay.
He has now been vindicated over his decision as he has transformed his status.
The England international has started the last five matches in the Premier League, averaging 3.1 clearances, 1.1 blocks and 6.1 long balls per game.
His impressive performances have even forced Ten Hag to bench Varane, which looked unlikely at the start of the campaign.
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