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Erik ten Hag sends warning to Harry Maguire about Man Utd captaincy as he makes decision on future

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Erik ten Hag rested Harry Maguire against Liverpool on Monday but has vowed to remove him as club captain, despite interest from rivals Chelsea.

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Erik ten Hag sends warning to Harry Maguire about Man Utd captaincy as he makes decision on future

Erik ten Hag has warned Harry Maguire that being  Manchester United  captain will not be enough to reclaim his starting spot.

Maguire was rested in United’s 2-1 win over Liverpool and is expected to be among the substitutes against Southampton on Saturday. 

Although Ten Hag has no plans to remove Maguire’s captaincy, he has told the 29-year-old defender that he must fight his way back into the team.

Maguire, who wants what is best for United, is aware that regaining his place will be difficult, but those close to him say the defender is determined to do so.

Bruno Fernandes was named captain against Liverpool, and Ten Hag is expected to play in central defence alongside Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez on Saturday.

“It doesn’t mean, when you are captain, you are established to play always, especially when you also have Varane in your squad,” said Ten Hag. “We have options. Varane’s stature is immense and in pre-season we took a decision to build him physically, so he had a bit of a slow start.

“But his profile, his stature and what he won in the past shows that he can really contribute to his team. For the team there is competition, and we need that. We have to cover so many games and we can do that in several constructions.

“We can see from game to game what we need, what can be the construction for Liverpool, but also as in the second-half in Brentford we played with Varane and Maguire in the centre, so there are many options. We have competition internally and that’s good – that’s what top teams need.”

Asked whether he would consider reassigning the captaincy if Maguire remained on the sidelines, Ten Hag said: “I’m not looking so far ahead. We are only one game. We have a leader group. Harry is one of them Bruno is one of them. Bruno did quite well as captain.

“He led by example and he brings so much energy to the team in and out of possession.” New signing Casemiro is set to make his United debut and Ten Hag said of the five-time Champions League winner: “He can lead other players really well because he’s a leader.”

Erik ten Hag sends warning to Harry Maguire about Man Utd captaincy as he makes decision on future

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