Harry Maguire can be ‘great player for us’, says manager Erik ten Hag

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Harry Maguire can be a “great player” for Manchester United if he can reproduce his England form with his club, says United manager Erik ten Hag.

The defender, 29, has made one Premier League start since August, when he was dropped after United’s 4-0 defeat at Brentford in favour of Raphael Varane.

But he started each game of England’s run to the World Cup quarter-finals.

“I’ve been asked many times. It’s clear he is good enough to play at the highest level,” said Ten Hag.

“He has, for England, good games almost all the time. He had a period in Manchester where he performed badly. Then, of course there are difficulties.

“But when he is working hard, he gets that confidence. You are seeing that with the way he is playing for England.

“We want him to bring it on the pitch for Manchester United. I expect from him, the team knows what they expect from him. If he does that, he will be a great player for us.”

Ten Hag has preferred Varane and Lisandro Martinez as his centre-back pairing during the start of his first season at Old Trafford.

With both their countries having reached the semi-finals, they will still be at the World Cup until next weekend.

Maguire could therefore start for United at home to Nottingham Forest on 27 December and Ten Hag says the £80m signing will get the chance to re-establish himself as a first-choice defender at Old Trafford.

“I have two or three good players in the right centre-back position,” said the United boss.

“After Brentford, I had to change the mentality. He was unlucky that moment was bad for him but it doesn’t say anything about his quality. Rapha came in and is doing a good job.

“There are laws of the game in top football. You have to take your chance.

“The only thing he has to do is train well and perform well. He has games, he has rhythm. His chance will come.”