Harry Maguire is destined to be remembered as one of the biggest flops in Manchester United's recent history. From the moment that he completed his record-breaking £80 million ($105m) switch to Old Trafford from Leicester City in 2019, Maguire has had to cope with the weight of huge pressure and expectation.
That only increased when he was made United's new permanent captain by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer just six months after his arrival in Manchester. It looked like a rash decision at the time given Maguire's lack of experience at the highest level, and so it has proved.
Maguire's performances gradually worsened under Solskjaer and his interim replacement Ralf Rangnick, but he clung on to his spot in the team due to his status as skipper. However, Erik ten Hag immediately identified the defender as a weak link upon his arrival at United last summer.
The former Ajax boss made sure that Lisandro Martinez followed him to Old Trafford, and it wasn't long before he started experimenting with the Argentine enforcer alongside Raphael Varane in the heart of his backline. United improved significantly after Maguire's relegation to the bench, and he had to watch on as Bruno Fernandes took up on-field captaincy duties in admirable fashion.
By the end of the 2022-23 campaign, the England international had also fallen behind Victor Lindelof and Luke Shaw in the pecking order. Ten Hag made it painfully obvious that Maguire doesn't fit into his long-term plans, but if there had been any shred of doubt still remaining, he eliminated it when the centre-half returned for pre-season training at the weekend.
Maguire announced that he has been stripped of the captaincy in an emotional post on social media, and admitted that he has been left "extremely disappointed" by Ten Hag's ruthless decision. But he should really look at it as a blessing in disguise because now he is free to rebuild his career - away from Old Trafford.