Harry Maguire cut himself adrift from his Manchester United team-mates in the aftermath of their FA Cup defeat. The Red Devils were undone at Wembley as Manchester City secured a 2-1 success – with Erik ten Hag admitting the squad were “broken” after their loss. Maguire was left to watch on from the bench for the entirety of the 90 minutes as his future remains unclear.
Maguire has lost his spot under Ten Hag, starting just eight times in the Premier League. He remains the club’s captain but was not rallying around his team-mates after full-time despite taking his tracksuit off to show his match kit, instead he remained in the dugout.
The England defender was seen in dialogue with technical director Darren Fletcher, according to the Daily Mail, as doubts swirl over his future. His inclusion in the squad on Saturday could be the final time he is picked for United with a summer exit increasingly likely.
Raphael Varane started alongside Victor Lindelof at the heart of defence with Lisandro Martinez, who would usually be first choice, absent through injury. Luke Shaw has also been deployed as a centre-half ahead of Maguire, underlining his fall from grace.
Ten Hag recently addressed the defender’s future as he told The Times : “Let’s say I’m happy he’s here and when we needed him he did his job. But it’s also a decision he has to make. No one would be happy with this situation – he is not as well. He trains always on the best levels, so with 100% effort. So he handles that situation well and he’s in that manner and in his captaincy he’s important for the squad.”
Maguire has been linked with clubs domestically and abroad as the 30-year-old attempts to resurrect his club career. With the Three Lions he remains a favourite, despite Gareth Southgate’s previous stance that players must be playing regularly to justify involvement.
The defender was a favourite under the previous regime. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer continued to stick by Maguire, whom he spent a world-record fee on, despite their being calls for him to be taken out of the first-team picture at times.
Ten Hag though was quick to pull Maguire out of the firing line. Martinez was signed in the summer to provide immediate competition. Maguire remained a starter for United’s opening two games, which they lost to Brighton and Brentford, before he was benched. He would start just two of the next 20 league games.