Harry Maguire he was beating his chest, merging with the signing fans Take me HomeThe anthem, with lyrics by John Denver, was adapted to include Old Trafford. A few minutes later, Manchester United scarf around his neck, he went up to receive his captain’s first trophy. it wasn’t exactly Ole Gunnar SolskjaerThe manager who signed Maguire for £80m and quickly followed him to captain must have imagined it.

United won silver on Solskjaer’s 50th birthday, but the Norwegian is no longer in charge. Limited to a few minutes plus downtime on the field, Maguire isn’t really either. The three-handled Carabao Cup has been lifted by two players: Bruno Fernandes always wears his armband these days and Plum skin Witchusual captain.

The disturbing truth for Maguire is that United’s transformation came with his demotion. Solskjaer’s first lieutenant was Ten Hag’s fourth choice central defender. However, eight days before he turned into his thirties, Maguire finally got his first career major medal.

“I don’t have mixed feelings, it’s been a long time since the club won a trophy,” he said. “I’m the club captain and my main job is to move this club forward and bring success back to the club and that’s been a part of that today.”

It occupies an abnormal position. Maybe it has been for a while; When United imported multiple Champions League winners like Raphael Varane and Cristiano Ronaldo, he was the captain who won nothing. Now Ten Hag believes it has a group of leaders made up of recently hired Casemiro and Lisandro Martinez, as well as David de Gea, Varane and Fernandes; Claimed first among equals, Maguire is now the most senior figure on the bench. If that sounds like the beginning of something for Ten Hag’s United, there’s the question of whether Maguire is nearing the end.

“Obviously I’m a football player who wants to play and at the beginning of the game I want to get the kids out of the tunnel, but I also understand that it’s part of football, when you play at the highest level and you have it. There is huge competition for places,” he said.

It seems like an example of Ten Hag’s toughness and determination. Martinez was signed in the summer, with Varane appointed as his partner after losing 4-0 at Brentford in August. Maguire has only made three league appearances since then, but he can testify to Ten Hag’s diplomatic skills. “He honestly says he believes me but this is football,” he explained. “Rapha plays really well and we saw the manager’s ideas, what he wanted. He likes to play a left-footed centre-back. This is Manchester United. The manager talks to me every day and really respects me and believes I’m a middle half with all the qualities to play for his team, but also the players who play. He gets it too – and I play the players – they play very well.”

What Maguire has done in the last 18 months with only England jersey. Whether he’s truly a Ten Witches-style centre-back is debatable, and if he seems like a logical candidate for a summer debut, Maguire may still be suffering from the traumatic 2021/22 season.

Facing failure, Solskjaer’s self-selected captain faltered as his regime collapsed. Innovation bias may dominate the thinking, but it’s worth remembering that his first two years at Old Trafford counted as a qualifying achievement: despite the lack of silver teams, United finished second in the league and reached the Europa League final, and Maguire was a touchstone. side.

“When I first came to this club, I felt like we had turned a corner, then we had a bad season and things changed again,” he thought. The Ten Hag revival appears to be built on more solid foundations. He has already outstripped Solskjaer in one respect and appears to be the same in others. “It’s been a while since we won our last trophy for a club our size. We knew our last final was a disappointment on penalties in the Europa League,” added Maguire. Then, United withdrew when Maguire was injured. Now he feels that something has begun.

“What’s built here is why we’re in all four races,” Maguire said. “It will be difficult to win all four, but when we’re in them, we go into every game to win it.”

Do this and he can get more silver items, but next to Fernandes and possibly the Portuguese will be at the head of the team. If Solskjaer saw Maguire as a potential United captain, he could be a great out-of-game captain instead.