Harry Maguire has been told to be more ruthless as a defender and that he should have ‘more devil in him’ following Erik ten Hag’s glowing assessment of the player.
At Monday’s press conference in Bangkok, the journalists in attendance were eager to hear about Cristiano Ronaldo’s future at Manchester United and whether Harry Maguire would keep the captain’s armband next year.
Ten Hag downplayed suggestions that he will be naming a new club captain this summer, with Maguire set to remain in the role for the foreseeable future.
“I have to get to know all the players, but he’s an established captain and he’s achieved a lot of success,” Ten Hag said, as quoted by the Daily Mail.
TalkSPORT co-host Andy Townsend has said that whilst Maguire should keep the role as captain, the defender needs up improve his game next season to impress Ten Hag.
“Who’s the other obvious captain?” 🤷♂️
“What’s in it for Ten Hag to take it off Maguire, if there’s no standout switch?”
— talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) July 11, 2022
“I think there’s no question he’s a talented lad and a good footballer, of course, he is,” Townsend said on talkSPORT Drive.
“I’d like to see a bit more ruthlessness about the way he defends. I’d like to see something a bit more devil in him in the way he defends.”
Townsend claims Maguire can be the captain Ten Hag wants.
“The best defenders have got the ability to hurt someone now and again, if they have to, to put the ball out the ground if they have to, to challenge and fly through someone if they have to,” he added.
“I look at Harry and he becomes a bit tentative, stepping one way and then back-pedalling. He needs to be a bit more positive in his mind from the get-go this season and hopefully his confidence will return.
“There’s no doubt he’s a good footballer.”