Home Football Captaincy: Ferdinand warns Maguire to leave United or stay as backup

Captaincy: Ferdinand warns Maguire to leave United or stay as backup

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Rio Ferdinand has warned that Harry Maguire will have to accept being a substitute if he chooses to stay at Manchester United.

Over the weekend, coach Erik ten Hag stripped Maguire of the captaincy after reducing his game-time severely last term and selecting pair Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane instead.

This new move by Ten Hag shows Maguire’s future at Old Trafford is bleak and Ferdinand is taking the opportunity to inform the England defender that he is only viewed as a backup in Ten Hag’s plan, so he should move on.

In an interview with TNT Sports, Ferdinand said, “Erik ten Hag has a particular way of playing. He has to choose players that suit his style of football, and Harry Maguire does not fit the bill. He brought in Martinez and Varane to fit his philosophy and those will be his first-choice centre-backs next season.”

“It will have been really difficult for Maguire, after playing so well for England, coming back to Manchester United to be a substitute. That must have been mentally very hard to deal with.

“The question now is, what does he want to do? Does he want to be a squad player or does he want to be a starter in another team? If he is happy being a squad player at Manchester United then he stays, if he doesn’t then he will go. But he will be a sub if he stays at United.”

Maguire made the announcement of Ten Hag’s decision to strip him of the armband himself in a statement on social media and shared his unhappiness with the decision as well.

“After discussions with the manager today he has informed me he is changing captain. He outlined his reasons to me and whilst I’m personally extremely disappointed, I will continue to give my all every time I wear the shirt,” he said.

“So I wanted to say a massive thank you to the Manchester United fans for all their brilliant support whilst I’ve been wearing the armband. Since the day I took on the role, it’s been a huge privilege to lead Manchester United and one of the proudest moments of my career.

“It’s one of the greatest honours in club football. I’ve done everything I possibly could to help United be successful – on and off the field. I will always be grateful to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer for first giving me the responsibility and I wish whoever now takes it on every success and they will have my full support.”

The club also confirmed it in a statement, saying: “Everyone at Manchester United thanks Harry for his contribution as captain over the past three-and-a-half years. The manager will announce the new captain in due course, after he has informed the players.”

So far, Ten Hag is yet to name his Maguire’s replacement, however, on Wednesday’s win against Lyon, Varane took on the armband.

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