Harry Maguire played the full 90 minutes in Manchester United’s 1-0 defeat to Real Sociedad on Thursday night. The England international will know he needs to do a lot more to take over from either Raphael Varane or Lisandro Martinez in Erik ten Hag’s preferred back four.
It was the first start for Maguire and Cristiano Ronaldo since the humiliation at Brentford last month, a selection policy that has put Manchester United on a four-match winning streak in the Premier League, and things didn’t improve when they returned to the line-up last night.
Speaking ahead of the match about Maguire’s situation and how he can regain a starting role in the team, Stam told iNews: “He needs to show everybody that he’s number one.
“If that’s not the case, you’re going to be taken out. That’s how it works at the absolute top – I’ve been there myself, you need to be consistent in what you’re producing.
“[Harry] could always say ‘I’m not playing so I’m going to go somewhere else’. That’s an easy decision for him.
“But if he wants to succeed at Manchester United he needs to show himself in training sessions again, because we all know in football, especially in the Premier League with the amount of games to be played, eventually there’s a space that will open up again.
“And then you need to show yourself, you need to knock on the door and say ‘I’m going to be stepping in, and I’m never going to be out again’. You need to convince the coach, the manager, and the coaching staff now.”
The former United defender raises some good points but I don’t think Maguire can show he’s number one. It seems more unlikely now after Martinez’s arrival and the impact he has had on the team.
Stam is a member of Manchester United royalty as part of the Treble-winning team in 1999. His comments carry weight and Maguire should take note.