Manchester United defender Harry Maguire suffered a turbulent summer, having been stripped of the captaincy at Old Trafford and almost leaving the club for pastures new.
West Ham United had an offer accepted for the England defender but Maguire opted to stay and fight for his place at United.
It looked as though the England man was set for a long season on the sidelines but a defensive injury crisis has granted him a spell in the first-team.
The defender has enjoyed something of a mini-revival since his return to the side with a string of good performances in Lisandro Martinez’s absence.
No doubt the issues at centre-back have played a huge role in United’s struggles at the start of the season with Martinez key to the way Ten Hag wants to build from the back, but Maguire has been the beneficiary of the Argentine’s injury.
As reported by The Independent, Maguire’s decision to stay at Old Trafford was largely down to the fact he believed United were going to encounter issues at centre-back, leaving him confident of game-time.
“Maguire made a calculation of his own. Sources said one reason he turned down West Ham United was because he saw the issues United were going to have at centre-half.
Martinez’s injury and Raphael Varane’s inability to play consistently meant there were going to be chances. Maguire has seized them and then some,” says the paper.
Maguire has certainly stepped up in recent weeks and his return to form has been praised by manager Erik ten Hag.
“He’s playing much more proactive in possession, stepping in, passing vertical, defending also on the front foot, also stepping in, defending forward, very confident in the duels.
“I think he’s dominating in the right moment, putting the question, dominating his opponents,” Ten Hag remarked.
Despite some good performances, Maguire’s big test is going to come in the shape of Erling Haaland and Manchester City in the Manchester derby, tomorrow (Sunday).
The 30-year-old will be tasked with keeping the dangerous Norwegian at bay and winning that battle will be key to United getting something positive out of the game.