Martin Keown backs under-fire Harry Maguire

Martin Keown has backed Manchester United star Harry Maguire to bounce back while claiming the defender is not a problem for the club.

Harry Maguire hardly fails to make the news, as every media outlet always looks for stories regarding the under-fire Manchester United defender. Times have been difficult for the England international under Erik ten Hag, who does not rate the former club captain.

Manchester United have not necessarily strengthened their backline this summer, with the addition of veteran Jonny Evans and on-loan left-back Sergio Reguilon the only major incomings. They might have brought in a new centre-back had Maguire joined West Ham United, who had an offer accepted.

As the move to the Hammers fell through, Maguire had no interest in leaving his lucrative contract at Manchester United. That’s not to say he’s not ready to fight for his place, but despite the injury to Raphael Varane’s injury, Ten Hag has not selected the England international from the start.

Against Arsenal, Maguire came in for more criticism as he joined the pitch off the bench, replacing Lisandro Martinez. At the time when the Gunners scored a late winner, the England star was with Evans on the pitch marshalling Manchester United’s backline.

More criticisms followed during the past week when Gareth Southgate selected Maguire for his England squad. Some pundits claimed the under-fire Manchester United star should not play for the national team ahead of other deserving players performing well for their respective clubs.

Now, former Arsenal star Martin Keown has come for Maguire’s defence and insists the Manchester United problems are unrelated to the centre-back. He also urged the defender was scapegoated.

On Talk Sport via ESPN, Keown explains his side and why he feels Maguire could return to the setup under Ten Hag soon.

Keown said, “I do feel he’s a scapegoat for Man United fans!”

“Some of us talk about driving buses through football teams, and I think you could do that right now with Manchester United. It’s really the midfield that’s the issue, and Harry Maguire isn’t necessarily the problem.”

Keown’s words may have an element of truth to it. Returning to the start of last season when Maguire came in for massive criticism following Manchester United’s disastrous start to the campaign. Since then, the England star has barely started under Ten Hag, but the results against big teams have yet to improve massively.

Even this season, they have yet to start with authority and have already lost two times to north London sides Tottenham and Arsenal. Hence, Ten Hag should consider giving Maguire a chance to shine in the team instead of Varane and hope for a change of fortunes.

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