Harry Maguire is enduring a nightmarish season at Manchester United.
Despite ending the 2020/21 campaign in brilliant form for the Red Devils and duly dominating for England at Euro 2020, the wheels have fallen off for the United captain since he returned in the summer.
While Maguire is so often an easy target for fans regardless of how he’s performing, even his most ardent of defenders have to hold up their hands and admit that his recent displays haven’t been good enough.
Maguire’s 2021/22 struggles
In fact, the situation has become so dire that many United supporters are starting to wonder whether or not the 29-year-old should be sold, which is staggering when you consider that this is the club captain we’re talking about.
Nevertheless, with Ralf Rangnick’s side having looked stronger when Victor Lindelof has partnered Raphael Varane, there’s increasing evidence to suggest that Maguire’s minutes need to be scaled back.
And United’s Champions League exit at the hands of Atletico Madrid didn’t exactly do Maguire any favours with the former Leicester City man once again attracting criticism for his performance.
Slapped with 4/10 and 5/10 ratings across the British media, Maguire played a damning role in Renan Lodi breaking free to head home Atletico’s winner and some United fans seemed to celebrate his eventual substitution.
Man Utd 0-1 Atletico Madrid Match Reaction (Football Terrace)
Maguire’s sketchy moment vs Atletico
All in all, it was a dire night at the office for Maguire and one that was painfully summarised by a hesitant few seconds on the ball that David de Gea simply wasn’t having.
Early in the second-half, Maguire received the ball from Jadon Sancho in the penalty area with several yards between him and the Atletico frontline with easy passes to Varane and Diogo Dalot available on his right-hand side.
However, in the space of just seven seconds, the United skipper allowed a comfortable moment of possession to swell into a shot on target for Atletico with a series of dilatory turns on the ball.
Having allowed the pressure onto himself and dealt with it unconvincingly, Maguire effectively threw De Gea under the bus for an avoidable conclusion to the entire episode, which you can check out below:
Maguire is the worst defender ever. Overrated is a understatement pic.twitter.com/6Gypo9plZY— 🥷🏿 (@uncoolSiz) March 15, 2022
De Gea was absolutely seething. Look at that rage.
De Gea livid with Maguire
While goalkeepers giving defenders a piece of their mind isn’t anything revolutionary, De Gea can often cut a subdued and quiet figure between the sticks, but not when Maguire dawdled with the ball at his feet.
Sure, De Gea didn’t cover himself in glory with the clearance that ultimately fed into Rodrigo de Paul’s solid effort from range, but it was Maguire putting him in an awkward situation that sparked the carnage.
And what makes the clip so agonising is that Maguire’s indecisiveness on the ball was painfully illustrative of his season overall.
Maguire is a world-class defender on his day – there, we said it – but it’s been almost a year since we’ve seen the United skipper reaching those heights with his bad run of form yawning into a full-blown career crisis.
Hopefully he can turn things around at the ‘Theatre of Dreams’ before it’s too late.