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Resilient Maguire can help Red Devils rescue European dreams
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Matthew Hill
Harry Maguire has forced his way back into Manchester United's line-up
Harry Maguire has forced his way back into Manchester United's line-up

After salvaging a seemingly doomed Manchester United career, Harry Maguire is now out to rescue his club's continental dreams.

The England defender, 30, started the new campaign surplus to requirements under Erik ten Hag but has taken advantage of an injury crisis to reclaim his spot in United's line-up.

This evening, Maguire and Co must keep Bayern Munich and the prolific Harry Kane at bay if they are to play any form of European football after Christmas.

Ahead of the clash, we shine a light on Maguire's unlikely resurgence.

Never give in

It would have been easy for Maguire to call time on his mixed Old Trafford spell this summer.

Ten Hag had made clear the trio of Raphael Varane, Lisandro Martinez and Victor Lindelof were all above the former club captain in the pecking order for central defensive berths.

But when both Lindelof and Martinez limped off injured against Arsenal in September, Maguire emerged from the shadows and soon after, he was back in the side permanently.

Varane missed an October clash with Brentford through a minor knock and since the Three Lions regular was handed that shirt, he has refused to relinquish it.

So good have Maguire's performances been recently, he was voted the Premier League Player of the Month for November.

Cool head

Maguire believes his attitude towards training after being dropped was pivotal to his impressive return.

He said: "Every day I came to training, tried to drive the standards, drive the training, to make sure we were working at an intensity that enabled us to get three points. 

"By doing that, I enabled myself to stay fit, stay ready, stay in a good, positive mindset and be ready to take my chance when it came."

Meanwhile, pundit and former pro Chris Sutton believes Maguire's temperament may be the best of any player at Ten Hag's disposal.

Writing in his Daily Mail column, the ex-England and Blackburn striker explained: "I admire Maguire for the way he persevered to force his way back into Erik ten Hag's line-up. 

"He's shown himself to be a solid character in what appears a toxic changing room."

Chris Sutton has been impressed with Harry Maguire's resurgence
Chris Sutton has been impressed with Harry Maguire's resurgence

Facing a friend

If United are to qualify for the Champions League or Europa League knockouts, keeping Maguire's England team-mate Kane quiet will be key.

The former Tottenham marksman has netted 22 goals in 19 appearances since joining Bayern in summer and has only failed to net in six of those outings.

Fittingly, Kane has been one of Maguire's biggest allies, staunchly defending his international colleague prior to this evening's reverse fixture in September.

Kane said: "I think H [Maguire] has come under some unnecessary scrutiny.

"He has probably been scapegoated a bit. He is a really good friend of mine, a great guy and a really hard-working professional.

"He has been one of England's best defenders over recent times and in England's history."

In their last three meetings at club level, Maguire emerged on the winning side on each occasion.

Should he do so for a fourth time, it would arguably be his greatest moment in a United shirt.


Manchester UnitedHarry MaguireChampions League
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