'When he plays well he can come into the team' – Erik ten Hag reveals role Harry Maguire will play at Man Utd for the rest of the season
- Varane and Martinez now first choices
- Maguire was 88th minute sub in Carabao Cup final
- Linked with United exit this summer
WHAT HAPPENED? Club captain Maguire has largely been on the fringes of the United side under the Dutchman. He was left out of the starting XI that played Newcastle in the Carabao Cup final, instead coming off the bench late on to see out the 2-0 victory – and joined in with the celebrations afterwards.
Maguire said in a recent interview that he was frustrated by his lack of United game time this season and was desperate “to lead the boys out of the tunnel" in every game.
WHAT THEY SAID: "Let's make myself clear, we didn't win it with 11 players, we won with a squad and I think the squad, the whole season is so important," Ten Hag told reporters on the Carabao Cup celebrations, which included a number of fringe members. "They had the idea we did it collectively, it was not individual, it was the performance of the whole team, the whole squad
"Every time players come in it – if it's for a whole game, minutes, a couple of games, also during games we can change dynamics – we do it with many more than 11 players. I count on them and know they will be ready. Every time they play they take responsibility and it's about that but you also have to fight for your position. There are great months and great games ahead of us, also for Maguire. When he plays well he can come into the team."
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez have justified their roles as Ten Hag's first choice picks in central defence, with the latter a revelation since his £56million (£67.8m) move from Ajax, consigning £80million (£96.8m) Maguire to the bench.
The former Leicester centre-back has been linked with a United exit this summer, although he said he accepted his current situation. "I understand that the players who are playing - are playing very well," Maguire added.
IN THREE PHOTOS:
DID YOU KNOW? Maguire has only started in three Premier League wins for United this season. He's been in the starting line-up for three of their six total defeats in all competitions. By contrast, Varane has only lost twice when starting this term, from more than double the amount of games.
WHAT NEXT FOR UNITED? Maguire could get a rare start on Wednesday night when United host West Ham in the FA Cup fifth round.