Erik ten Hag has backed Harry Maguire to fight for his place at Manchester United, despite the manager’s decision to remove the defender as club captain.
Maguire took to social media last week to announce Ten Hag’s decision to take the armband from him, with Bruno Fernandes since named as the Red Devils’ new captain.
The decision comes after Maguire struggled for a regular role in the side last season and the England international has been linked with an exit. Maguire has made just eight Premier League starts since Ten Hag’s arrival as manager and West Ham are among the clubs said to be interested in a deal.
Ten Hag has discussed his decision to change captain and insists he still values Maguire despite choosing a new captain for the upcoming season. The Dutchman has called Maguire ‘important’ to his squad and has backed the defender to fight for his place at Old Trafford.
“We respect Harry,” Ten Hag told the club’s official website.
“Harry’s very important for this squad, for this team. 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 and 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.”