Nemanja Matic leaps to the defence of Manchester United captain Harry Maguire

Former Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic has leapt to the defence of Red Devils club captain Harry Maguire.

Maguire, who finds himself out of favour under Erik ten Hag, started England’s 1-0 UEFA Nations League defeat to Italy on Friday night, a loss which saw the Three Lions suffer relegation.

The 29-year-old has started five of United’s last six games on the bench and finds himself having to take the watching brief while Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez marshal United’s backline.

Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Having lost our Europa League opener against Real Sociedad, a game Maguire started, Ten Hag opted to restore Varane and Martinez with United’s number five once again dropping to the bench for the 2-0 win against Sheriff Tiraspol last time out.

Nemanja Matic leaps to the defence of Harry Maguire

Despite going through a difficult spell at club level, England manager Gareth Southgate remains loyal to Maguire and continues to pick the former Leicester City centre-back.

And the world’s most expensive defender has hit back at his critics who he believes use his name for “clicks”.

“On my form, I don’t know what has been said, I don’t really read about it,” Maguire told talkSPORT.

“I am working hard on the training pitch to make sure I am ready for when my opportunity comes. That is all what I can do to try and help the team.

“I am not concentrating on anybody else and what people are saying, I think if people can make a story about me, I am Manchester United captain, it is going to make big news.

“So that is the reason they do it, they like the clicks and things like that, but I went into the Euros after an eight-week injury, and did not play one game, and got into the team of the tournament.

“In terms of rustiness, and things like that, I am sure that won’t happen.”

Matic, who played alongside Maguire 82 times for the twenty-time league champions before joining AS Roma on a free transfer this summer, believes the criticism the 47-time England international is getting on social media is a disaster.

Speaking to The Times, the Serbian said: “What people are doing to him [Maguire], it is a disaster.

“Everything has to have limits and some of these people writing on social media, they don’t have their own lives so they just have to write bad things about someone else.”

Photo by Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images

Maguire’s case hasn’t been helped by a report from ESPN attributed to ‘a source close to Maguire’ which screams a PR disaster for the Manchester United captain.

Maguire isn’t likely to earn a recall for the Manchester derby and his best chance of featuring under the former Ajax boss currently comes via the Europa League and Carabao Cup.

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Passionate Football fan that completed a NCTJ-accredited Diploma in Multimedia Sports Journalism in 2016.