Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand has urged manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to take captain Harry Maguire out of the firing line for his own good, but the player has no intention of asking to be rested.
Maguire has endured a torrid few weeks, in which he was arrested and found guilty of aggravated assault and attempted bribery during an ill-fated holiday on Mykonos, Greece, conceded 11 Premier League goals in three Premier League games at the start of this season and was sent off for England on Wednesday during their match against Denmark.
It has led a number of journalists, pundits and fans to question whether it has all been too much for the 27-year-old and to call on the United boss to rest him for a few games.
Speaking at an EE announcement via The Sun, Ferdinand said ‘It’s obvious to see he’s going through a bad spell. Nobody is immune from having a downturn in form and confidence.
‘He’s lacking that [confidence] and it’s very evident in his performances.
‘In these situations – and I’ve been in them as well – you sometimes need to be taken out of the oven.’
Ferdinand suggested that Maguire himself might do well to ask for a break.
‘Sometimes just taking yourself out of the actual firing line for one game helps.
‘It’s about having enough time to reflect, a chance to sit down and go through where you are at.
‘When you are going game-to-game with matches every three or four days it’s very hard to see through the fog.
‘If you are taken out of the firing line you get time to sit back and analyse your performance, your training, preparation and recovery.’
However, The Mail claims that Maguire will not heed his predecessor’s words.
‘Sportsmail understands Maguire is fully committed to the United cause and is not considering a break from the game,’ the outlet said.
‘That means Solskjaer, who has supported Maguire during these difficult times, will make the decision on whether the centre-back should be granted a mid-season break.’
It will be a question that without doubt will be put to Solskjaer at this morning’s press conference ahead of tomorrow’s trip to Newcastle.
It would be out of character for the manager to remove Maguire, as he has always stuck by his players through patches of bad form in the past.
In addition, the Englishman is not just a player struggling for form, he is the captain and also a player who Solskjaer has picked to play in every single Premier League game and 59 out of the 66 matches in all competitions that United have faced since he joined the club.
This summer’s transfer window was one of the strangest in living memory. So cast your mind back to less stressful days and test your knowledge of past United arrivals and departures in our quiz below.