Harry Maguire will put this difficult season behind him, says John O’Shea.
The 29-year-old Manchester United captain became the most expensive defender in history when he signed from Leicester in 2019. However, he has faced backlash for several below-par performances in recent weeks and has struggled to adapt to Ralf Rangnick’s tactics.
O’Shea reckons the experienced star can find his groove again. But the former Republic of Ireland and Red Devils centre-back says Raphael Varane will play an important role. “I’m sure it’s difficult for him, but he’s got to remember you’ve just got to play through it,” he said. “He’s an England international – and he’s been very successful in his career. He’s a good player. He’s just got to make sure he’s working hard in these moments.
“The defence in general, hasn’t been helped by not having a settled back four. There’s been too many changes; right-back, left-back and Victor Lindelof and Varane injured. They’ve not had a chance to have a full run together.
“I think if Varane can stay fit, whoever plays alongside him, should be able to play well. I think he’s that good a player, Varane, if he can stay fit for the rest of the season it’s a big plus for United.”
O’Shea’s 393 appearances for United came during a period of domestic dominance. He won five league titles, the FA Cup and the Champions League. But with the Red Devils facing a battle to finish in the top four this term, the 40-year-old has claimed the Premier League is more competitive than ever before.
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“They’ve got a big challenge with the competition from Tottenham, Arsenal, West Ham, Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool,” he added. “The competition has improved – and the squads of those teams have got much better also. It’s a bigger challenge today that the players face at United.
“But I think they have the quality and they’ve just not been able to produce it enough. If they can produce it and sustain it, what gets you titles or into the top four or three is consistency. And they haven’t been consistent enough – that’s the problem.”
John O’Shea was speaking to beIN SPORTS, the global sports broadcaster