Rio Ferdinand has urged Harry Maguire to leave Manchester United after Luke Shaw was once again preferred to him at centre-back for the Red Devils’ Premier League clash against Wolves. United’s usual first choice left-back has been deputising alongside Raphael Varane in the centre of defence with Lisandro Martinez given time off after Argentina’s World Cup triumph.
Erik ten Hag opted to play Shaw ahead of Maguire, who had missed the Carabao Cup win over Burnley a week prior through illness, for United’s first league game since the World Cup against Nottingham Forest. The 27-year-old was largely untroubled as United rode out comfortable winners with Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Fred all on target against Forest.
Four days later, Ten Hag named the same partnership in defence for United as they took on Wolves in the early kick on New Year’s Eve, a decision which surprised United legend Rio Ferdinand who went on to make quite the demand aimed at Maguire.
“I like him [Shaw] in the left side of a three,” Ferdinand said on BT Sport. “What it does do is raise my eyebrows when I see Lindelof and Maguire on the bench, if they weren’t fit they wouldn’t be on the bench, if they weren’t able to play some part they wouldn’t be on the bench so it shows what he [Ten Hag] thinks of them two guys when he’s playing Shaw centre-half.
“If I’m Harry Maguire I’m looking for a new club right now, I have to be honest. You see what he does, what he’s done for zz, he’s faultless, impeccable the way he plays. “People umm and ahh, this and that, but he puts in solid performances for England; for Manchester United it hasn’t worked out for him. This new manager is showing by his team selection that he isn’t going to be in the top two or three squad.
“If I’m him, if I was him in his shoes, I’d be going and saying ‘find me somewhere where I can enjoy my football, be playing regularly’.”
Maguire had been previously linked with a transfer to Chelsea with his future uncertain at Old Trafford, and despite a successful campaign with England in Qatar, he seems to still be out of favour in the eyes of Ten Hag.
Defensive problems have plagued Graham Potter throughout much of his time at Stamford Bridge, and although a move for Maguire would likely be scrutinised, it could be exactly what the Blues need to stabilise their defence.