Erik ten Hag reserved special praise for Harry Maguire after his impressive showing in Manchester United’s narrow win over Sheffield United on Saturday.
The centre back made just his second start of the 2023/24 Premier League season at Bramall Lane, helping his side to a hard-fought 2-1 win over the struggling Blades.
Maguire won 100% of his tackles, made three blocks and recovered possession an impressive eight times in the win. Speaking after the game to the club’s website, manager Ten Hag was keen to hail the defender’s performance.
He said: “I have to say to Harry [Maguire] – Jonny [Evans] as well – but Harry, he is playing like we want him to play. Very proactive. Out of possession, dominating his opponent.
“Stepping in when necessary. Reading the game. But also in possession very proactive stepping in, delivering good passing. Vertical passing. Good switches. I am happy with his performance.”
The England international has impressed in recent weeks, having clawed his way back into Ten Hag’s plans following injuries to Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez. The Red Devils had been keen to offload Maguire during the summer transfer window, with Ten Hag stripping the defender of the Man Utd captaincy and then agreeing a fee with West Ham United ahead of a proposed transfer.
However, the 30-year-old opted to stay at Old Trafford in order to fight for his place in the lineup.
Speaking after the win, Maguire expressed his delight at getting all three points at Bramall Lane: “I know we can play a lot better than we did, for sure. It wasn’t the perfect performance, but it was an important win.
“You’ve seen big teams play Sheffield United here this season and they have always been tight games, obviously apart from the last one against Newcastle.
“We know it’s a difficult place to come, but we’re delighted with the win and we move on now.”
Maguire will be hoping to retain his place in the starting XI in midweek when Man Utd face off against FC Kobenhavn in a crucial UEFA Champions League group stage clash.