Harry Maguire speaks out on why he stayed at Manchester United amid return to form
'There was a lot of talk about me because I wasn’t playing games and that’s the way it is.'
A move to West Ham appeared close after the Red Devils accepted a bid from the Hammers, but the move fell through as Maguire didn’t come to an agreement with the clubs.
It looked like he was going to be set for another season on the sidelines, but thanks to an injury to Lisandro Martinez and both fitness and form concerns over Raphael Varane, Maguire is back and looking good.
He started the 1-0 win over Luton on Saturday which saw the Red Devils climb to sixth in the table and sounds very satisfied with how he has been playing and his decision to stay at Old Trafford.
Asked if opting to stay has now been proved the right decision, he said: ‘Of course. I obviously played a few games last year, 16 or 17 I think it was – starts. And I actually felt like I performed really well in the games that I played in, I just didn’t play as many as I would have liked.
‘But, on the other hand, Rapha and Licha (Martinez) were playing brilliantly and keeping numerous clean sheets so I had to bide my time, I had to be patient.
‘I had two or three opportunities last year to get a run of games in and actually broke down with illness, broke down twice with injuries. So I never got the rhythm, never got the run of games that I could prove myself to the manager. I’ve got that now.
‘I played the last I don’t know how many games and I really enjoy my football and really enjoy playing for this club. So, yeah, I was willing to stay and fight for my place.
‘We’ve got, I believe, four or five top international centre-backs at the club and the competition for places is really hard.’
He added: ‘There was a lot of talk about me because I wasn’t playing games and that’s the way it is. I was playing well for my country, went to the World Cup and played really well.
‘So yeah, I always thought my form was there but I was up against some top, top centre-backs and last year they were playing amazing, so I just didn’t get as many opportunities as I would have liked.
‘But this club demands competition for places and that’s what we’ve got in that position.’
For more stories like this, check our sport page.