Harry Maguire’s Manchester United future looked bleak going into last summer’s transfer window.
After a disappointing season, the centre-back was stripped of the captaincy at Old Trafford and United were open to offers.
However, despite interest from West Ham, Maguire survived the window and entered his fifth season as a United player.
Since then, the 30-year-old has enjoyed somewhat of a return to form and has been one of Erik ten Hag’s shining lights in a poor campaign to date.
Maguire’s strong showings this year have represented an unlikely turnaround after a disappointing period in a red shirt.
The defender was widely criticized for his performances at club level and faced stick from fans and pundits alike.
Maguire was certainly feeling the pressure and former Premier League striker Jermain Defoe revealed the England man reached out to him after comments made praising Maguire during punditry.
Speaking on Defoe & Deeney Football Firsts, Defoe says he was surprised Maguire contacted him after his words of praise for the United man after an England game.
“Harry Maguire actually messaged me, thanking me because again I did an England game. I think I said something like, the last few tournaments he’s been one of my better players.
“And he messaged me on Instagram basically just saying thanks a lot, appreciate it, I heard some of the things you said on the tele. I was like wow!” he said.
Defoe’s admission comes after Troy Deeney’s revelation of a heated exchange with Maguire’s agent off the back of public comments he made against the centre-back.
Despite his poor form at club level, Maguire’s performances for the Three Lions have been largely decent and he remains one of Gareth Southgate’s most important players.
With the European Championships coming up in the summer, Maguire will be hoping his strong form continues at United.
However, with Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane both now fit, Maguire will need to force his way back into the first team.
After seeing off Newport County in the FA Cup, United’s return to Premier League action on Thursday evening with a trip to Molineux to face Wolverhampton Wanderers.