After Erik ten Hag took over the reigns at Manchester United, he decided that improving the leaky defence was his topmost priority. And it was clear to see why.
The Red Devils managed only eight clean sheets in the league last season, placing them a lowly 13th while they went on to concede a Premier League record of 57 goals.
This season, the 20-time English league champions have already accumulated 11 clean sheets, placing them third while they have only let in 35 goals so far.
The defensive partnership of World Cup winners Raphael Varane and new signing Lisandro Martinez have been a revelation and the duo have been helped in their task by another stellar signing in Casemiro.
The drop-off in quality when the Frenchman and Argentine are replaced is very discernible as neither Victor Lindelof nor Harry Maguire have come close to replicating their displays.
While the Swede is third-choice at the moment, the club captain’s stock is at its all-time lowest as he is effectively fifth in the pecking order with left-back Luke Shaw ahead of him.
The club captain has made just five starts in the Premier League, while the former Benfica defender has not fared any better, making the same number of starts.
The current season is a far-cry from their position in the squad under former manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. The Norwegian made sure to start Maguire in almost every game with Lindelof a close second in terms of appearances.
There have been numerous reports linking both with an exit in the summer with the club likely to bring in better defenders in the case they leave.
Maguire, Lindelof no longer wanted
According to Football Insider, a defensive clearout is being planned at United and unfortunately, both the Sweden international and the England star are in that list.
“Man United are prepared to sell Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof this summer.
“The Red Devils are in the market for a new centre-back but Erik ten Hag wants a clearout of his current defenders in order to make space for summer arrivals.”
The likes of Jurrien Timber, Kim Min-jae and Antonio Silva have been linked with a move to Old Trafford in the summer and they would certainly be an upgrade to the current options at Ten Hag’s disposal.
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