Manchester United boss, Erik ten Hag has stated that he has much respect for the out-of-favour Harry Maguire after taking the captain’s armband away from him. He believes the English defender is essential to his team.
Maguire made just eight Premier League starts last season, sparking speculation over his future with the English giants.
“He outlined his reasons to me and whilst I’m personally extremely disappointed, I will continue to give my all every time I wear the shirt,” a saddened Maguire wrote on his Twitter handle after his discussion with the Dutchman
Ten Hag made the call to install Bruno Fernandes as United captain in place of Maguire of the 30-year-old defender
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“We respect Harry. Harry’s very important for this squad, for this team,” he told MUTV, where he outlined his reasons for giving the Manchester United captaincy to the Portuguese
“And, you know, in his role as centre-back, we have four centre-backs. I talked about consistency and we know we can’t do it with 11 players, so I’m happy we have four very good centre-backs.
“And we will need them, and he has to fight for his place, as he did last year. He has a high potential so I’m sure he will do it, he will fight for his place and then it’s up to him.”
On Fernandes’ leadership attribute, Ten Hag said, “A good team is always covering areas as leaders, team players, multi-functional players, specialists, individualists.
“But you need some leaders in the team, on the pitch, who are guiding the team, who are building the team, who are controlling the quality of the performance.
“And one has to wear the [arm]band and we chose, I chose, Bruno because he is a great inspiration. He is the example.”
Raphael Varane, a fellow United player agrees with his boss’s decision on the change of guard
“He wants a team with character and he’s the leader so he has to show it himself,” Varane said in an interview with ESPN
‘He’s not scared to take these decisions and take that responsibility. That is what we expect from the manager. He did it so I think, with things like this, you show by example.”
“He knows exactly what he wants. He’s shown that determination and from the first day we’ve known exactly what we’ve had to do and where he wants to go. It’s all clear for the players and for the team and we have a good connection with the manager,” he added.
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