Erik ten Hag can’t ignore key Harry Maguire Manchester United strength keeping Raphael Varane out

Maguire came close to leaving the Reds in the summer transfer window, however a move to West Ham fell through leaving him at Old Trafford for the 23/24 season. It seemed as though the centre-back was far down the pecking order at United, behind Lisandro Martinez, Victor Lindelof and Raphael Varane, but injuries within the squad and the return of Jonny Evans gave him an unlikely opening.

The centre-back has had a huge boost in his confidence since returning to the matchday squad, even scoring his first goal in more than 20 months in Uniteds win against Copenhagen at home in the Champions League, after which he was awarded player of the match.

He made his fifth start of the season last weekend in Uniteds fixture against Luton, and since returning to the squad as a regular he has benched Raphael Varane, who cannot seem to regain his place in the team. England boss Gareth Southgate clearly still trusts him, selecting him even in periods which he was not making appearances for United.

The determination by Maguire to re-cement himself as a regular starter in the United team is a quality that Erik ten Hag clearly values, and results have shown that United generally perform well when the centre-back is playing, as opposed to when he is on the bench.