Manchester United defender Harry Maguire was absent from the team’s matchday squad against Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday night due to an injury he picked up in training.
Maguire was not expected to be in the starting lineup for the game as Lisandro Martinez returned to full fitness after going off injured in their last game against Wolves but the centre back could not even make the bench.
Maguire’s absence sparked a few rumours about his place in the squad, which were then silenced by the manager. Erik Ten Hag explained that the Englishman picked up a minor injury problem in training and hence is missing from the matchday squad.
Ten Hag, when asked about Maguire’s absence, said: “He picked up a small issue in the final training yesterday, so he couldn’t travel with us.” The nature of his injury was not revealed.
Many believed the reason for the 30-year-old’s absence could be potential transfer talks after talks with West Ham United broke down as the player refused to leave United, but this was not the case.
There had been rumours that Ten Hag wanted to move Maguire on in favour of a new centre-back after taking the captaincy off of him. But after his move to the Hammers collapsed, the manager came in defence of his former captain.
The Dutch manager said: “I don’t know about the [transfer] process, only that Harry is a player for us, I’m happy he’s here, and we need a good squad.”
Martinez and Raphael Varane started again as Ten Hag named an unchanged eleven for the game against Spurs, which they lost 2-0 after a poor performance from the men in red at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Maguire has fallen well down the pecking order at United as there are four players, including Luke Shaw, preferred by the manager at centre-back over him. All reports have suggested that the club are keen to sell the defender this summer as well.
But as things stand, it looks like Maguire is going to stay put at Old Trafford after rejecting a move to West London. Ten Hag may have to stick with the £80 million defender for another season as the Red Devils are unlikely to be able to raise the funds for a new centre-back without selling Maguire first.
There have been no updates on whether Maguire will be back fit and return to the matchday squad for United’s next game against Nottingham Forest at Old Trafford on Saturday but he is unlikely to be in the starting eleven anyway.