Dimitar Berbatov doesn’t think that Harry Maguire can afford to make any more mistakes if he wants to win back his place at Manchester United.
The England international has had a tough time of late as he has struggled to find much consistency under Erik ten Hag.
Maguire only started in eight Premier League matches last season and he has only played 23 minutes of league football so far in this campaign.
Despite his struggles at club level, England manager Gareth Southgate has continued to show faith in the defender. Southgate was quick to come to Maguire’s defence after England’s triumph over Scotland.
“I’ve never known a player treated the way he is,” Southgate explained. “Not by the Scottish fans, by our own commentators, pundits, whatever it is.
“They’ve created something that’s beyond anything I’ve ever seen. He’s been an absolute stalwart for us in the second-most successful England team for decades. He’s been an absolutely key part of that.”
While Maguire still seems to have the faith of Southgate, the same cannot be said of Ten Hag. The 30-year-old could get some opportunities due to Man Utd’s injury crisis at the back.
However, the defender remains firmly down the pecking order when everyone is fit. Berbatov thinks that this next run of matches for Man Utd could be crucial for Maguire.
“If he gets the chance to play from the first minute for United, then Maguire will be playing for his career,” Berbatov told Betfair.
“He cannot make any mistakes. Whenever he makes a mistake, he will be making his situation even worse.
“He should play it simple, with one or two touches. He should try not to overdo stuff, but it starts with if he will be given the chance to play. He will need the trust of the manager.”
An exit this summer would have probably been the best thing for Maguire’s career, but this didn’t materialise in the end.
West Ham pushed hard to get a deal over the line, but the deal ultimately collapsed and Maguire seems happy enough to wait things out at Old Trafford.
“How can I put this? We just didn’t come to an agreement,” Maguire told The Express when discussing the potential move to West Ham.
“They were happy for me to stay and I was happy to fight for my place. I want to do that and every time I train or play I will give everything.
“I know, at the moment, when I have not started a game in the first four games of the season, the story comes to me. I want to play games, I want to play football.
“The first four weeks were hard because it was one game a week and the manager didn’t select me but we have lots of games coming up now and I am sure I will play lots of games.”