Manchester United defender Harry Maguire feels justified after making the decision to stay at the club during the summer transfer window.
The central defender was stripped of his captaincy over the summer and it was followed by him being linked with a move to West Ham United.
Several sources mentioned that a deal was agreed between the clubs, but a transfer did not materialise in the end with Maguire opting to stay put.
Speaking to The Athletic, Maguire said that he performed really well in the games he played last season, but Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez were brilliant as a centre-back pairing.
The 30-year-old added that he had to bide his time after failing to get a run of games to prove himself to the manager, but he is delighted to have turned around his fortunes this term.
He said: “I played a few games last year, 16 or 17 starts, and I felt like I performed really well in the games I played in. I just didn’t play as many as I would have liked. On the other hand, Rapha (Varane) and Licha (Martinez) were playing brilliantly and kept numerous clean sheets.”
“I had to bide my time and be patient. I had two or three opportunities last season to get a run of games but I broke down with illness, I broke down with injuries twice, so I never got the rhythm and never got the run of games that I could prove myself to the manager.
“I have got that now, I am really enjoying my football and I really enjoy playing for this club. I was willing to stay and fight for my place and we have four or five top international centre-backs at this club and the competition for places is really high.”
Maguire has become an undisputed starter
At the start of the campaign, Maguire was a regular on the substitutes’ bench. Victor Lindelof was called up to the playing field when there was an injury concern.
However, the centre-back’s fortunes changed after both Varane and Martinez were sidelined. In the absence of the former, Maguire started in his preferred right-back role.
The Englishman stood out with multiple stand-out performances. The manager has now made the decision to pick him regularly, leaving Varane on the bench instead.
This should be a huge confidence boost for Maguire, who was out-of-favour for a starting berth last term. He has had a tremendous turnaround since the October international break.
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