McTominay and Maguire – not new boys – powering Ten Hag's Man United

Erik ten Hag has splashed out over £400m on new signings, but it’s stalwarts Scott McTominay and Harry Maguire powering Man United at the moment… the under-pressure coach should be grateful they weren’t sold

  • McTominay and Maguire both performed well in vital 2-1 win over Chelsea 
  • Both are players United considered selling over the summer but they’re thriving
  • Erik ten Hag has not located the soul and heartbeat of United and, without it, they are screwed – Listen to It’s All Kicking Off 

For all his heavy spending trying to rebuild Manchester United, Erik ten Hag is indebted to the players he inherited for keeping the season alive.

While Rasmus Hojlund, Andre Onana and Antony struggle to justify their hefty big price tags and Casemiro and Christian Eriksen are unavailable due to injury, step forward Harry Maguire and Scott McTominay – neither of whom ten Hag wanted to stay – to become United’s main men.

Other major contributions to United’s best performances of the season – Wednesday’s 2-1 win against Chelsea and the recent 3-0 drubbing over Everton at Goodison Park – have been homegrown youngster Alejandro Garnacho and Luke Shaw, signed nine years ago while ten Hag was still managing the reserves at Bayern Munich.

They say it’s better to be a lucky manager than a good one. Nobody is suggesting Ten Hag isn’t good – his record at Ajax and first season at United suggests he is.

Yet even his biggest fan must admit there is an air of good fortune in his failure to sell Maguire and McTominay as they have been brilliant for United this season when others have let them down.

Scott McTominay showed his match-winning qualities once again with two goals as Manchester United beat Chelsea 2-1 on Wednesday evening

Harry Maguire has returned to form at the heart of United’s defence and is first choice again

Erik ten Hag has splashed out over £400million on new signings but it’s the players he inherited at Old Trafford who are excelling at the moment

Your browser does not support iframes.

Maguire’s rags to riches story has been told before but it still beggars belief. Fifth-choice centre-half not long ago, he rejected attempts to send him to West Ham.

He’s now the first defender on the teamsheet while World Cup winner Raphael Varane is nowhere. Maguire was a solid against Chelsea, distributed the ball well and even broke forward with authority when United were in possession.

McTominay’s renaissance is even more stark. He was seen as the poster boy for United’s struggles in midfield. 

Now he’s not only playing regularly and a hero for the Scotland international team, his double against Chelsea made him United’s top scorer this season.

The way he broke into the box to deliver two expert finishes, one a shot, the second a header, would have reminded the travelling fans of their legendary goalscoring midfielder Frank Lampard.

It was ironic that United’s biggest win of the season, at Everton, was achieved without any outfield starters signed in the last seven transfer windows.

Casemiro and Varane were signed for their experience of winning the biggest medals in the game but that’s not what is getting United ticking right now. 

Neither is Antony, Mason Mount or Hojlund who cost a combined £215million at ten Hag’s behest.

Rasmus Hojlund has yet to score a Premier League goals since joining United for £72million

There have been plenty of doubts over summer goalkeeper signing Andre Onana

Mason Mount – another summer signing who didn’t come cheap – has struggled so far

No, it’s those players who have been at Old Trafford a long time or come through the ranks who are making the difference to keep United in the hunt for a top-four spot, they are only three points behind Manchester City.

They will be first names on the teamsheet for next week’s visit of Bayern Munich that will determine whether United stay in the Champions League.

If Ten Hag didn’t appreciate what the club already had on their books when he arrived, he certainly does now.


It’s All Kicking Off is an exciting new podcast from Mail Sport that promises a different take on Premier League football.

It is available on MailOnline, Mail+, YouTube, Apple Music and Spotify.

Your browser does not support iframes.

Source: Read Full Article