Former Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has detailed his belief that Harry Maguire has dealt with his situation “in a fantastic way” and he is “very happy” he’s shown his grit to back to where he wants to be.
Maguire’s career began to go backwards over the past few seasons. In his first season at United under Solskjaer after his £80million move from Leicester City, he played every single Premier League game.
The following season, the centre-back missed just four games. However, his slide began the campaign after, and led to just 16 league appearances last term – Erik ten Hag’s first season as manager – with only half of those coming from the start.
Maguire slipped way down the pecking order, with Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane preferred to start, and Victor Lindelof the main understudy to that pair. Maguire was pursued by West Ham this summer, but chose to remain at Old Trafford.
That’s a decision that’s paid dividends, as, he’s back at the top of his game. Maguire’s been one or the most impressive defenders in the league, and one of United’s best players this term.
That he’s regained the faith of Ten Hag is highlighted by the fact Varane has sat and watched him from the bench, with Maguire starting each of the last five league games in a row – four wins and one loss.
Solskjaer, who signed the defender at United, has hailed him for his handling of his situation over the past couple of years.
“I think he has dealt with it in a fantastic way,” Solskjaer told Nettavisen.
“It has not been easy. I have kept in touch with him and I have nothing but praise for the guy.”
Solskjaer also spoke about how difficult it would have been to take a step down from playing at United, and he’s happy that Maguire has stayed true to himself, keeping faith that he’s able to perform for the club.
“He has been in it. It’s not easy to leave Manchester United because you know there’s a downturn almost everywhere you go. You get paid for your efforts when you are that type, when you are a good footballer and show that you have a heart for the club,” he added.
“I guess he has gradually learned who to listen to. I am very happy that Harry in particular shows what kind of player he is, but not least what kind of person he is. That’s why I made him captain. We in Norway call it ‘hell wood’.”