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Erik ten Hag hails "very important" Harry Maguire after summer exit talk

Ten Hag hails
© Reuters
Manchester United head coach Erik ten Hag praises central defender Harry Maguire for turning his Red Devils career around.

Manchester United head coach Erik ten Hag has hailed Harry Maguire for his contribution to the team's recent impressive results in the Premier League.

The Red Devils have won each of their last three league fixtures against Fulham, Luton Town and Everton, keeping clean sheets in all three games.

Maguire has been a vital player for the 20-time English champions in recent weeks, playing the full 90 minutes in each of their last six Premier League games, which have brought five wins.

The England international was heavily linked with a move away from Old Trafford over the summer, with West Ham United believed to have had an offer accepted for him.

However, the 30-year-old decided to stay at Man United to fight for his place, and the ex-Sheffield United youngster is now first pick in the middle of the defence.

Manchester United's Harry Maguire in action with Newcastle United's Anthony Gordon and Joe Willock on November 1, 2023© Reuters

Maguire's form is keeping Raphael Varane out of the side, and there is an argument that Ten Hag's first-choice centre-back pairing will be Maguire and Lisandro Martinez once the latter has returned from injury.

Jonny Evans had been featuring alongside Maguire before picking up an injury, with Victor Lindelof now filling in as the left-sided centre-back.

Ten Hag has lavished praise on Maguire for 'fighting back' from a difficult period, hailing the centre-back's "mentality" and "very important" contribution to the team's recent success.

"Absolutely. Very important. And he fought back and he showed great mentality. He can be proud of himself. But as I say: we are in a season, we are in the right direction," Ten Hag told MUTV.

Manchester United centre-back Harry Maguire on October 21, 2023© Reuters

"Harry is in the right direction with this team. Now we make the next steps because we want to be successful and Harry is very ambitious. He wants to win trophies. So then, you know, you have to give every day your best."

Maguire is now set to remain at Old Trafford, especially as there is huge uncertainty surrounding the futures of Varane, Evans and Lindelof.

Varane is believed to be keen to leave the Red Devils next year, with a number of clubs from Saudi Arabia said to be keeping a close eye on his situation.

Both Evans and Lindelof only have contracts until next June, meanwhile, although it is thought that a 12-month extension will be activated in the latter's deal.

Scott McTominay is another player who was heavily linked with a move away from Man United over the summer, but he has also been vital for Ten Hag in recent weeks, coming up with four goals in all competitions.

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