Manchester United kept their Champions League hopes alive in dramatic fashion, beating Copenhagen 1-0 at Old Trafford on Tuesday.
The England international leaped highest to head the winner from a perfect Christian Eriksen cross in the second half and the goal was reward for the hard work he has put in behind the scenes.
The centre-back was effectively fifth-choice last season and even Jonny Evans seemed to have usurped him in the pecking order this campaign.
Maguire’s upturn in form
It is well-known that manager Erik ten Hag wanted to sell him in the summer and that a move to fellow Premier League side West Ham United fell through at the last minute.
At the start of the campaign, the former skipper hardly got the chance to play, much less to start, and there were genuine concerns over whether he would make the England team for next year’s European Championships at this rate.
But he has taken advantage of the injury crisis prevailing at the back and even gained his place back on the left side of defence, the position where he prefers to play.
He has started four times in all competitions this season and United have won all those games and the defender has impressed in his three most recent starts, grabbing a goal and an assist during this time.
Despite criticism from fans and pundits, Maguire has remained professional throughout and hardly raised a fuss unlike other United stars, and the goal against the Danish side will do his confidence a world of good.
Ten Hag has been effusive in his praise for the 30-year-old, claiming his improvement is the reason behind his elevation back as a starter and now his future could also be about to change at the club.
There have been reports linking the English international with a January move as Ten Hag wants funds to strengthen at the back and upfront.
United have been linked with a whole host of defenders with the club reportedly preparing a shortlist in case they can raise enough funds through player sales.
But with the defence mired in injuries and considering the upturn in form Maguire is experiencing at the moment, a transfer maybe put off until next summer at the earliest.
This update comes from transfer insider Dean Jones. He told Givemesport, “I don’t think Maguire will end up leaving in January. I know many people are reporting to the contrary that he will.
Maguire to stay till season end?
“I’m not saying it’s impossible, but I just feel like we’re in a moment when Man Utd are struggling for stability anywhere.
“They don’t have the money to go and strengthen that area of the pitch, even if the Sir Jim Ratcliffe investment has moved forward by the time we get to January, is it going to move on far enough that United can suddenly sign a top-level centre-back? I doubt it. So, I think United should be pleased with the fact that Maguire has managed to get himself in some sort of form.”
A lot depends on how soon Lisandro Martinez can return from injury and how long Raphael Varane can stay fit.
But Maguire deserves plaudits for how he has come out of such a challenging couple of months with some solid displays while also acting as a model professional.