Home Premier League Coach Solskjaer: ‘Maguire’s Efforts Have Paid Off’

Coach Solskjaer: ‘Maguire’s Efforts Have Paid Off’

by James Olley
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Former Man Utd manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer revealed that he still stays in touch with defender Harry Maguire and is delighted that his former player has overcome challenges to reclaim a starting spot.

“I think Maguire has handled everything brilliantly,” Solskjaer, who led Man Utd from 2018-2021, told Norway’s Nettavisen on November 23. “It’s not easy to overcome criticism. I keep in touch with him, and recently, there’s been nothing but praise. It’s not easy to leave Man Utd because you know almost every destination won’t match up to this club. Maguire’s efforts have paid off; he’s a talented player with a heart for the team.”

During Solskjaer’s tenure, Man Utd signed Maguire from Leicester City in the summer of 2019, making him the most expensive defender of all time with a fee of $100 million. After five years, the Norwegian manager handed the captain’s armband to Maguire, noting him as one of the best defenders globally.

Solskjaer (left) during his time working with Maguire at Man Utd.

In the initial period, Maguire showcased leadership on and off the field. However, the 30-year-old defender has experienced a decline in performance in recent seasons. Last season, he was even pushed to the bench by coach Erik ten Hag and stripped of the captain’s armband. The club leadership considered transferring Maguire to West Ham, but he insisted on staying to compete for a place in the starting lineup.

Recently, amidst a personnel crisis at Man Utd, Maguire has been given the opportunity to reclaim his starting position. In the last five Premier League matches, he played the full 90 minutes, contributing to four victories for Man Utd. “I guess he has gradually learned who to listen to,” Solskjaer added. “I am very happy that Harry has proven what kind of player and person he is. That’s why I gave him the captain’s armband.”

Alongside Maguire, another player whom Solskjaer, midfielder Scott McTominay once favored, is also performing well this season and is regaining favor with Coach Ten Hag. “I know McTominay and Maguire have qualities, and I think people like them deserve to be rewarded for their efforts,” Solskjaer commented. “Both are the kind of players you want in your lineup.”

Man Utd currently sits in sixth place in the Premier League with 21 points and is at the bottom of Champions League Group A with one point less than the two competitors for advancement, Galatasaray and Copenhagen. After facing Everton on November 26, Maguire and teammates will travel to Turkey to face Galatasaray on November 29 before heading to St James’ Park to play against Newcastle the following weekend.

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