Jaap Stam believes Harry Maguire can get his career at Old Trafford back on track via the support of his Manchester United teammates.
The United skipper, who joined the club from Leicester City in a record-breaking £80million deal almost three years ago, has experienced a torrid season at Old Trafford and has been subject to major criticism and, at times, abuse. His future of him at the club, particularly as captain, appears under threat right now.
Maguire was subjected to boos from a number of England supporters at Wembley on Tuesday evening during the Three Lions’ 3-0 win over the Ivory Coast. The Sheffield-born defender has been a regular fixture in the England squad in recent years and played a key part in their run to the semi-finals of the World Cup in 2018 and the final of the European Championship in 2020.
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His form for England has been polar opposite to what he has produced for United this season — prompting questions to be raised by some about where his priorities lie. However, former United star Stam has called on Maguire’s teammates to try and help him get back on the right path.
“I think for him, and that’s what I meant, by what I said before, he also needs to have help from his team-mates,” Stam told bettingexpert. “He also needs to have the confidence of people around him and they will have for him.
“But also from outside as well, so he can make these steps. I’ve seen him play before as well when he was at Leicester, and he played good games.
“Yes, sometimes now, when you see him play, he doesn’t look confident at times or is not making the right decision. But that’s also part of a player and his career path.
“Sometimes you get ups and downs, you play well, and then you go down a little bit. But it’s about how you pick yourself up to become a steady player.
“And I think for him, they (his teammates) need to help him out as well. They need to tell him as well what he needs to do, and how he needs to play.
“He’s doing well within the national team as well when he plays. So he’s shown that he can play at a high level in the national team, not only for the country but also I think at Manchester United.”
Maguire hasn’t been alone in struggling at Old Trafford this season. United have failed as a collective unit and Stam has highlighted how several contributing factors have impacted the defender’s fortunes.
“It’s easy for everybody to say that [Lionel] Messi or [Cristiano] Ronaldo are great players because they score a lot of goals,” Stam continued. “Yes, when a player is not doing well, it’s also easy to say, ‘he” not doing well’, or ‘he’s not performing well, so you need to make a different choice’.
“No, it’s about letting people say, ‘okay, what do you need to tell the player, so he becomes a better player?’ And that individually means and give him a few pointers that make it easier for him to become a better player.
“And now we’re talking specifically about Harry as an individual, but also the players around him. The midfield players and the other centre-back, the two full-backs and the goalkeeper, they also need to help him out, to give him more options on the ball or to take a better position so he feels maybe more comfortable defending.
“So it’s not only about one thing, it’s about several things that need to come together to eventually come out on top.”
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