Harry Maguire's Man United future is in his own hands after injuries

Harry Maguire’s Man United legacy is in his OWN hands now – he can either lead the club to silverware or limp to a summer exit… the England star has been handed a chance at redemption under Erik ten Hag and HAS to take it

  • Injuries have afforded Harry Maguire a chance at redemption at Old Trafford
  • The Englishman currently looks set for a summer exit from Man United
  • He needs to take the chance handed to him at the heart of United’s defence 

When Harry Maguire looks back on his Manchester United career – be that if he joins this summer’s anticipated clear-out or once his contract expires in 2025 – will he truly believe it was a success or admit it was the outright failure that the majority of supporters will tell you it has been?

That answer could be decided during United’s end-of-season run-in as Maguire braces himself for a surprise swathe of games at the heart of defence after Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez were both ruled out with injuries in Thursday’s 2-2 draw with Sevilla.

In what has become a running theme of errors for the Englishman, it was his stoppage time own goal that ensured the Spanish underdogs departed Old Trafford with hope in a tie that should have instead left their Europa League campaign in tatters after Marcel Sabitzer’s first-half brace.

As Maguire sank onto one knee after Youssef En-Nesyri’s header rebounded off him and past David de Gea, there was a slither of empathy for the 30-year-old. 

He likely not only recognised the precarious position his mistake had left United’s Europa League hopes in, but also feared the fallout from his own supporters who have previously made clear that they want him sold on as a matter of urgency.

Harry Maguire has a chance of redeeming his Manchester United career with an unexpected run of games following two defensive injuries 

Maguire (far right) scored an own goal that pulled Sevilla level in Thursday’s Europa League tie

The United captain (left) has played a bit-part role under Erik ten Hag (middle) this season

Maguire (right) has been used as a scapegoat by the majority of United’s supporters

It’s easy to make a scapegoat out of Maguire when things aren’t going well, but the worrying notion is that things have been going well and yet he is still hammered as being one of the most high-profile reasons for failure when results and performances drop off. 

Look through the history books of the leaders that have donned the prestigious armband and judge for yourself where Maguire ranks because let’s not forget that despite him being a benchwarmer this season, he is still club captain, if only largely by name.

Roy Keane and Nemanja Vidic lifted five Premier League titles during their years in charge, Wayne Rooney remains United’s all-time greatest goalscorer, Maguire….a Carabao Cup title that he played a bit-part in and an £80million price-tag previously celebrated as some strange type of success when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sealed his transfer.

But now, in an agonising twist for United supporters, Maguire has a chance for redemption with eight Premier League games left to play, an FA Cup semi-final with Brighton, and a second-leg Europa League quarter-final in Seville. 

Legacies have been made from less, Maguire can’t let this opportunity pass him by.

Last season he played 3,169 minutes for the club, under Ten Hag’s reign he has managed less than half of that, evidence if ever it was needed that Maguire isn’t recognised as an important asset by the United boss. 

However, one thing you can never question about the Englishman is his desire to at least try and become the type of player that is good enough to play for the 13-time Premier League champions.

During the club’s torrid derailment last season he was one of the few that kept fighting to get things back on-track and fronted up in interviews where others were too afraid or perhaps too embarrassed to do so.

Under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s stewardship England’s Maguire was a regular starter at the back

He will need every ounce of that fight to resuscitate a Old Trafford career that seems to have drowned but if he helps United achieve everything they are dreaming of at this trophy-deciding time of the season then all, or at least most, will be forgiven. 

If two more trophies and a place in the Premier League’s top four conclude Ten Hag’s first campaign in charge then Maguire will join Rooney as United’s most successful captain since Sir Alex Ferguson left the club.

The Englishman lifted the Carabao Cup trophy with United this season

Following just his sixth English top-flight start of the season in United’s recent 2-0 win over Everton, Maguire harped that he wasn’t enjoying being relegated from his previous starting position by Ten Hag.

He stated: ‘Listen, I’m not going to stand here and say I love it, or that I like it. I don’t.

‘I want to play every game and I have done for the last eight years of my career. 

‘Listen, when I get my chance, I want to perform, I want to win and most importantly for the team, have an influence on the game.’

Well Harry, now you are set to be given that chance you have so desperately craved and if you want to stay at one of the world’s biggest teams then you have to back those demands up with the type of performances that World Cup winning centre-backs Varane and Martinez have produced for the majority of the season.

He often thrives and looks a player that shines away from the pressures of club football when consistently picked by England manager Gareth Southgate as one of the first names on the Three Lions team-sheet.

Time is running out – it may have have already done so – but bringing that international form into domestic football is exactly what is required if he is to salvage his reputation and future at Old Trafford.

Raphael Varane (left) and Lisandro Martinez (right) look set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines

Maguire (left) sank to his knee as his own goal hauled Sevilla level at Old Trafford on Thursday

Maguire (left) has the chance to redeem his career at United during the end-of-season run-in

After England’s European Championship qualifying win over Italy in March Maguire, clearly inflated after another victory, bizarrely suggested that his ‘influence is still there’ at United. 

Whether he wants that to be a trophy-winning influence or the type that has followed other failures out of the revolving Carrington training complex door is up to him.

United fans, Ten Hag, and Maguire himself probably thought his career at the club was over, but if he can finally repay some of that ridiculous fee that followed him to the club by helping to secure two more pieces of silverware this season then he can re-shape his Red Devils career and start afresh at the club many want him out of.

If his new-found minutes end in United falling to the wayside then his future is sorted, a summer sale will follow and Maguire’s time in Manchester will be over. 

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