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Manchester United

Maguire praises Man Utd squad depth after losing starting spot and insists he'll be needed this season

15:02 GMT+4 22/01/2023
Harry Maguire Manchester United 2022-23
Out of favour Manchester United centre-back Harry Maguire has stressed the importance of a "squad game" and insisted he will be back playing again.
  • Maguire barely featured since August
  • Praised United's squad depth
  • Stressed he'll be ready when called upon

WHAT HAPPENED? Maguire has started just two league games since United's catastrophic 4-0 loss to Brentford in mid-August, and has watched Luke Shaw deputise for Lisandro Martinez at centre-back in recent weeks. The 29-year-old has praised the club's squad depth this season rather than lament his lack of game time, although underlined he will be ready when called upon.

WHAT THEY SAID: “I think subs throughout our season have been really important, they’ve scored some crucial goals, players have come on and had a big impact in the game. So we know it’s a squad game,” Maguire said. “Obviously everyone wants to start and everyone’s disappointed when they don’t start the games, but that’s the way it should be because we’re all footballers, we’re all competitive, we want to play football.

"But we’ve also got to be ready when we’re called upon. I think our fixture list from now until the end of the season is relentless, not much break, not much rest in between games. So I’m sure fresh legs will be used. And I think if you’re going to be a successful squad, it’s so important to have competition for places in each position, and I think we’ve got that in this team now.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Maguire appears committed to United amid numerous rumours linking him away from the club, the most recent being to West Ham. The return to full fitness of Martinez after his World Cup exploits means the England international could face another extended spell on the sidelines for the Red Devils, who take on league leaders Arsenal in a crunch Premier League matchup on Sunday.

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WHAT NEXT FOR MAGUIRE? Whether he features from the start or makes an impact from the bench, the 29-year-old will know a win against the Gunners on Sunday would bring them within five points of the league leaders and therefore right back into the title race.