Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag sends Harry Maguire warning following Lisandro Martinez transfer

Man Utd train ahead of Crystal Palace friendly

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Harry Maguire has been warned by Erik ten Hag that remaining as Manchester United captain will not save him from being dropped if his form continues to slide. Ten Hag has already confirmed that the England defender will be the Red Devils skipper but the imminent arrival of Lisandro Martinez has placed further doubt over his role in the team. 

United confirmed the signing of £47.5million centre-back Martinez from Ajax on Sunday. Old Trafford chiefs secured a big win after the Dutch side initially said the Argentine would not be sold. 

But United already have several centre-backs, including Maguire. The 29-year-old bore the brunt of criticism for the club’s woeful 2021-22 campaign. 

The Red Devils conceded a staggering 57 goals as they finished a dismal sixth in the Premier League last season. And Ten Hag has warned Maguire that being captain does not guarantee a place in the regular starting 11. 

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“I always see the captaincy as an issue that I dictate. The team building for me is an important point and I always talk about a group of leaders,” Ten Hag told journalists ahead of his side’s friendly clash with top-flight rivals Crystal Palace. 

“The captain is a really important one and I’m happy with him. Harry has proved it in the past, but he has also to prove it in the present and in the future.

“I will support him everywhere I can. In the end, he has to do it by himself, and he has the qualities to do it. He’s shown it so often in the past.

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“He’s played 60 times for England. Harry is really impressive and I expect a lot from him. But there is also internal competition and that is what a club like United needs. You cannot win with 11 players.

“We need a squad, especially this season with so many games. We have the Europa League, the Premier League and the World Cup so we need a full squad with high-quality players not quantity.”

Maguire missed United’s pre-season friendly drubbing of Liverpool but returned to feature in the 4-1 win over Melbourne Victory last week. The former Leicester City ace had a slight kock. 

In his place, the likes of Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof impressed. Martinez will add further competition once his move from Ajax is formally announced. 

Ten Hag’s side face Palace at Melbourne Cricket Ground on Tuesday before meeting with fellow Premier League side Aston Villa at the Optus Stadium, Perth. 

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