Maguire has everything to be a great Man United captain but faces huge test says Mikael Silvestre | The Sun
HARRY MAGUIRE has the quality to be the captain Manchester United need under Erik ten Hag, according to former Red Devil Mikael Silvestre.
The United skipper endured a torrid season last term and was booed by his own supporters in pre-season over in Australia.
But Silvestre has told the beleaguered captain that true United fans will not jeer him and will always have his back.
Silvestre believes in Maguire but also warned this will be the most testing spell of his career.
The Frenchman told Sun Sport: "I think he has [the quality]. It is more about confidence at the moment and to repair that.
"It is part of the game and what happened with him, it is just a bit of that.
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"In England with the media and all the hype that surrounds the players at times they suddenly become the villain.
"It is the most testing moment of his career.
"The true fans wouldn't boo Harry because in my nine years at United I never experienced fans booing one of their own.
"He is an honest person and gives 100 per cent and the fans recognise that.
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"After that, in terms of quality, it is something else.
"It is not nice and I don't think it is going to help him.
"You have to be strong mentally to overcome this situation but I think Harry will recognise the true United fans who are behind him."
While Maguire will have the support of die hard fans, there is no hiding from the fact he has work to do.
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Silvestre said: "It is down to him to bring everybody back on board with him.
"At the club he has no issue with the support of the team and staff but somehow he has to prove himself again.
"To become again a steady and reliable centre-back for United."
Maguire was not alone in his struggles last season as United limped to a sixth-placed finish.
New manager Ten Hag has had a difficult start after suffering defeat to Brighton in his first game in charge.
Silvestre says the minimum requirement for the Dutchman this season should be to get United back into the top four and Champions League.
But the ex-Arsenal defender feels more work needs to be done in the transfer market to achieve that.
Ten Hag has added Lisandro Martinez from Ajax, Tyrell Malacia from Feyenoord and landed Christian Eriksen on a free transfer.
Speaking on behalf of 888sport, Silvestre said: "You need to get back into the Champions League spots next seasons.
"Progress in the table and bridge the gap to the top teams.
"That should be the minimum.
"So far they have reacted well [in the transfer market].
"It has been three signings [so far] and one more should be added in the middle of the park.
"Right now it would be difficult to compete with the top teams in the league.
"Right now it is not good enough, you need quality and numbers.
"Now there is only Fred and Scott [McTominay]. It is not enough."
It is not only the new arrivals where United need to succeed, but clearing out dead wood or players who do not want to be there too.
Silvestre said: "Everybody's super excited about the new signings but you need to make room.
"It is up to the manager and we'll find out who needs to move on.
"You need a happy and healthy dressing room to get the results."
While United have done well enough so far in the window for Silvestre, who is now an agent, two clubs from the big-spending top six stand out above the rest.
Silvestre said: "Man City getting [Erling] Haaland is very good and then Arsenal have been quite effective as well.
"They are the ones that achieved, I think most of their targets.
"So far I think Arsenal and City have been proactive.
"It has been quite a sensitive subject at Arsenal the last few years.
"It was necessary for the club to readjust their strategy and ensure that Mikel [Arteta] can build the squad like he wants to."
United pipped Arsenal to the signing of defender Martinez, but Arteta has been well backed by the American owners in North London.
They have landed both Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko from champions Manchester City for an estimated total of £75million, as well as forking out £34m on midfielder Fabio Vieira.
Mikael Silvestre, was speaking on behalf of 888sport. Head to 888sport for the latest sporting odds.
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