Harry Maguire can regain confidence by keeping Man Utd captaincy, says Erik ten Hag as he backs under-fire skipper


HARRY MAGUIRE keeping the Manchester United captaincy will restore his form and confidence.

That is the hope of new Red Devils boss Erik Ten Hag who has backed the under fire skipper by making it clear he is keeping the armband.

So will that really have the desired effect?

“It can help,” said Ten Hag.

“I will support him everywhere I can. In the end he has to do it by himself, and he has the qualities to do it. He has showed it so often in the past.”

It is clear Ten Hag sees Maguire as first choice from the off despite the signing of centre back Lisandro Martinez, plus Raphael Varane and Victor Lindelof already in the squad.

Ten Hag said: “I think he is. He’s proved it in the past but he has also to prove it in the present time and in the future.

“The captain is a really important one and I’m happy with him.

“He has played 60 times for England. Harry is really impressive and I expect a lot from him.

“But there is also internal competition and that is what a club like Man United needs. You cannot win with 11 players. We need a squad, especially this season with so many games.

“We have the Europa League, the Premier League and the World Cup so we need a full squad with high-quality players not quantity.”

Ten Hag brought in Martinez from his old club Ajax having identified a problem with United last season.

He said: “I analysed United last year in the left part of the defence. He is left footed and that is an advantage in possession and defending.

“And he also brings a South American aggressiveness, control, he can bring spirit to the team and in co-operation with the fans. I think he will fit really good at Manchester United and in the way we play.”

Martinez was Ten Hag’s third signing after attacking midfielder Christian Eriksen and full-back Tyrell Malacia.

But he continues to chase down Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong.

He said: “We are looking for a player who can playing in the holding midfield position, but it has to be the right one. There are not many in that position capable of the level we demand.

“We will strike the moment the player is available.”

Ten Hag says he has looked at the market for English players to add to his squad but claims the cost is too prohibitive.

He said: “I would like to sign English players. I think there is only one criteria and that’s quality in combination with the price.

“It looks like English players are quite expensive. It’s a fact you cannot deny.”

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