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Leonardo Bonucci showers praise on Harry Maguire for reclaiming his place at Manchester United

Union Berlin centre-back Leonardo Bonucci has singled out his Manchester United counterpart Harry Maguire for praise for bouncing back after falling out of favour under manager Erik ten Hag last term.

The England international started just half of the 16 Premier League games he featured in back in 2022-23 after falling behind Raphael Varane, Lisandro Martinez and Victor Lindelof in the pecking order.

Man United were willing to sell Maguire in the summer and he started 2023-24 as a squad player after a transfer away from the Old Trafford club fell through.

However, the 30-year-old has established himself as a regular under Ten Hag in recent months, starting nine of the 11 Premier League games he has played in, which has left Bonucci impressed.

“For me, Harry is an example,” the Italy international told the Sun.

“After all the stick and attacks he’s received, he still plays at Manchester United and is a regular for England. That’s indicative of his mental strength.

“Maguire is a rocky and tough defender. His problem is that he was paid an infinite amount of money when he joined Man United. But just because of that, can’t he occasionally drop a clanger?

“He has shown that he’s mentally tough – has leadership skills, personality and intelligence out of the norm.

“Just like all of us, he may have some limits but he’ll be aware of them and iron them out to improve.”

The former Leicester City star is currently out injured but is expected to return to the starting XI once fully fit as Ten Hag looks to get his team back on track during the second half of the campaign.

Maguire has been one of Man United’s best performers this term, and he showed plenty of determination and willpower to get himself back into the thinking of the Dutchman having been very close to leaving the Theatre of Dreams.

He has also retained his starting berth in the national team and will be looking forward to impressing at the European Championship this summer.

Maguire’s story has taught his teammates plenty of lessons, and anyone struggling to get into the team only has to do exactly what the Englishman did to regain his place.