Manchester United interim boss Ralf Rangnick has confirmed captain Harry Maguire will miss the game with Chelsea, with reports his knee injury could rule him out for the season
Harry Maguire’s miserable campaign may have reached a premature end with reports claiming the Manchester United defender’s injury will keep him out for the rest of the season.
After starring during England’s run to the Euro 2020 final, Maguire was hoping to take that form into club football, particularly with the arrival of centre-back partner Raphael Varane. But the 29-year-old’s third year at Old Trafford has been plagued by mistakes and inconsistent performances.
Maguire has remained a mainstay in the Red Devils’ starting line-up despite his poor form, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and then Ralf Rangnick opting to play him more often than not. He was on the bench for Saturday’s defeat at Arsenal following a tumultuous week which saw a bomb threat called in on his family home.
And Rangnick has also confirmed he will be unavailable for Thursday night’s match with Chelsea, joining a long list of injuries for a beleaguered United squad. “Harry Maguire is not available tomorrow, he has some issues with his knee,” the interim boss confirmed.
“Not a big thing, a niggle with his knee. He didn’t train yesterday nor today.” However, the Daily Mail report that the injury could sideline him for a number of weeks and there is a chance he could miss the remaining four matches of United’s Premier League season.
Should he be ruled out, it will be a fittingly disappointing end to what has been an increasingly concerning campaign for the most expensive English defender of all time. His position, not only as United captain, but as a regular starter is set to come under scrutiny this term, with Erik ten Hag ready to conduct a major overhaul when he arrives at the club this summer.
Reports from Spain have claimed that Ten Hag has identified Frenkie De Jong as the potential leader of his new project at United and will attempt to negotiate a reunion with the Barcelona midfielder who was part of the Ajax side that reached the Champions League last four in 2019.
Maguire, who could now miss the chance to impress the new boss, has recently defended his own position and recent form, pointing to the fact that Solskjaer and Rangnick have continued to pick him. “There’s a reason why both managers have put me in the starting eleven every game – for what I bring to the team, for what I bring to the starting eleven,” he told Sky Sports.
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“But I do also understand that I’m the captain of this club. I cost a lot of money. And when things aren’t going well, and we’re conceding too many goals, I’m going to get criticised.”
Along with Maguire; Paul Pogba, Fred, Jadon Sancho, Luke Shaw and Edinson Cavani are all being treated for injuries, with Rangnick left with no choice but to turn to youth for the final weeks of the season.
Asked if youngsters could be included in his squad, Rangnick added: “It’s possible, we have quite a few players missing tomorrow, one or two still with question marks. It has to be the right moment. They should have the chance to play well and perform well, and it should be the right moment.”