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Former Manchester United and England defender Rio Ferdinand has urged Harry Maguire to leave the club, saying that the centre-back has been disrespected by manager Erik ten Hag.
Despite playing regularly and impressing in defence for the Three Lions at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, Maguire has constantly struggled to get into Man United’s starting XI.
He had been used to a spot on the bench thanks to the presence of Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez, but recent matches have seen Maguire’s England teammate Luke Shaw getting the nod at centre-back instead.
Maguire urged to leave Old Trafford
The 29-year-old has made just seven starts across all competitions this season, and has started just two in six matches since the return of English football following the World Cup.
The defender has been linked with a move away from Old Trafford this month, with Premier League club Aston Villa reportedly chasing his signature.
Ex-Man United defender Ferdinand believes an exit is the only option for Maguire, with the former saying that the latter is only there for the cup matches.
“If you’re [Maguire], you have to leave now,” said Ferdinand, as per LiveScore. “Luke Shaw’s playing centre-back instead of him.
“That’s like me going back after the World Cup, playing well, everyone saying he’s done really well, and Patrice Evra is playing centre-back.
“I’d want to strangle Patrice! I would’ve smashed Patrice in training to make sure he’s not available, and I’d be going to the manager and saying, ‘are you taking the p*** out of me, boss?’
“I’d have walked straight into the manager’s office and said, ‘you’re disrespecting me.’ Harry Maguire’s got to move. I think he stays because of the games, and they can’t get someone else in. He plays in the cup games.”
Maguire gets nod for League Cup fixture
Ferdinand may just have a point, with Ten Hag handing his centre-back a rare start in Tuesday’s League Cup quarter-final victory over Charlton.
The defender has now featured for just 711 minutes in all competitions this season, with his reserve spot in the side set to continue for the long term given the presence of Varane and Martinez.
The stock of both defenders has quite simply risen in recent times, with both reaching the final of the World Cup, which was ultimately lifted by Argentine Martinez.
The England international joined Man United from Leicester in 2019, with his £80m fee making him the world’s most expensive defender, a record that still stands to this day.
Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk and Chelsea’s Wesley Fofana follow him closely at £75m and £70m respectively.
Maguire has gone on to make over 150 appearances for the Red Devils, with his spell at the club also seeing the captain’s armband go his way.
But his future at Old Trafford is now up in the air, with Man United legend Ferdinand only seeing one outcome for the Three Lions man.
The centre-back will have been boosted by the start against Charlton, but he looks set to return to the bench in Saturday’s Premier League Manchester Derby.
— Harry Maguire (@HarryMaguire93) January 10, 2023