Harry Maguire

Manchester United names Harry Maguire captain
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Manchester United names Harry Maguire captain

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When you have it, you have it.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has seen enough from Harry Maguire in the last six months to name him the next captain of Manchester United.

Maguire, 26, will replace Ashley Young, who the United site claims is “on the verge” of a move to Inter Milan.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Young had been the captain since 2019, replacing Antonio Valencia. Other United captains in recent history include Michael Carrick, Wayne Rooney, and Nemanja Vidic.

Here’s Solskjaer, from ManUtd.com:

“He’s come in and been a leader in the group. I’ve been, not surprised, but I’ve been impressed by his leadership skills, so Harry will keep on wearing the armband. He’s come in and everything about him tells me he is a leader. He’s part of a group that we’ve had, that have been leading this young group.

Maguire signed for United this summer in a club-record deal for a defender. He’s played 90 minutes in all 22 of the Red Devils’ Premier League matches this season, captaining the team seven times.

Solskjaer explained Young’s departure, saying the 35-year-old defender is being offered a two-year deal by Inter. United “weren’t ready” to offer two years.

Solskjaer: ‘Warrior’ Maguire could play this weekend despite injury

Manchester United gets Maguire injury boost
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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has lifted the collective spirit of Manchester United supporters without signing a new player.

The Red Devils manager announced that fears of a long-term absence for Harry Maguire are overblown, saying the player has a minor injury.

The 26-year-old may even play at Norwich City on Saturday.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

“He’s got a chance for tomorrow, it was a minor thing, I don’t know where the reports are coming from,” Solskjaer said, via The Manchester Evening News. “(The media) might’ve mistaken it for Harry Kane. He’s got a chance. He will go through training today and see how he reacts for tomorrow.”

Solskjaer says that Maguire fought through pain to play in the FA Cup last weekend.

“It’s not a surprise.. He’s a warrior and he wants to play. And if there’s a minor problem he’ll put himself up to play and that’s what he did against Wolverhampton.”

The manager also updated the status of Scott McTominay, Timothy Fosu-Mensah, and Eric Bailly. McTominay is out until February, while the other two are playing with the reserves Friday.

Man United’s Harry Maguire out injured

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When it rains it pours. Manchester United’s club-record signing Harry Maguire could be set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines, just as the Red Devils face a key spell in their battle to finish in the Premier League’s top four.

Maguire injured his hip in United’s 0-0 FA Cup third round draw at Wolves on Saturday and didn’t feature in their 3-1 defeat at home to Man City in the League Cup semifinal first leg on Wednesday.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believed the injury was only minor as Maguire will miss United’s clash against Norwich City this Saturday (Watch live, 10 a.m. ET online via NBCSports.com) but per a report from The Telegraph it is believed the injury is worse than first feared and Maguire could be out for some time as he’s suffered a muscle tear at the top of his hip.

This would be terrible news for United, as their other center backs haven’t stepped up to the plate this season and $100 million signing Maguire has done his best to hold things together ahead of an oft-shaky David De Gea.

Victor Lindelof has formed a decent partnership with Maguire but Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo have both struggled when they’ve come into the team, and maybe this is a chance for academy product Axel Tuanzebe to finally get a run of games in the team but he has also struggled with a hip injury this season too.

It remains to be seen how long Maguire is out for but such is his importance to the team, on and off the pitch, any time out is too long given United’s current predicament as they sit five points off the top four.

Adding to the injuries to Scott McTominay and Paul Pogba, Solskjaer is without three key men at the heart of his team.

Man Utd ‘far too inconsistent’ but Burnley win a step in right direction

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Manchester United have, for all of the narratives and drama which constantly surround them, quietly put together a quality run of results and risen to fifth in the Premier League as the calendar changes from 2019 to 2020.

[ MORE: Mourinho: Spurs keep making “same mistakes match after match” ]

With just one loss in their last nine PL games (5W-3D-1L), the Red Devils trail fourth-place Chelsea, who play on Sunday, by just one point after winning away to Burnley on Saturday. That’s all well and good, but defender Harry Maguire believes they’re capable of so much more, if only they could get out of their own way sometimes — quotes from the BBC:

“We’re a team who haven’t been conceding many chances, but set-pieces and other basic things have been letting us down. It’s nice to come here, get a clean sheet and get the win.

“On our day we can beat anyone, but we’ve been far too inconsistent this year. We didn’t perform at all at Watford, so it was important to come here, do the basics well and keep the clean sheet.”

As for manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who perhaps felt his seat getting a tad warm before his side’s current run, the progress made by Man United in recent weeks has been very encouraging; most notably, their ability to quickly bounce back from a poor performance and right the ship.

“In the first, half I thought we were very good. We controlled it and dominated it. Second half, of course there will be a couple more incidents in your box because they are throwing the ball into it but great defending.

“It is a big difference to get a clean sheet. It is important for us to know we can grind out results as well, even though if you score one you don’t always win but if we get the clean sheets we have a better chance to move up the table.

“We want to keep the momentum going. Two wins now and good response after the disappointing game against Watford. We have not lost a game straight after we have lost another one, so happy with that. Good response from the players. They are learning.”

Europa League preview: Man Utd, Wolves travel to stadium burdened by racial abuse

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Manchester United hopes to build off Monday momentum when it visits Partizan Belgrade in the Europa League, though the hosts have some off-field aims following a pair of closed-door matches due to racist behavior.

Partizan boss Savo Milosevic, a former Aston Villa striker, has vowed that the match will be void of racism and a “celebration of football.”

United players Harry Maguire and Marcus Rashford were part of an ugly atmosphere in Bulgaria while on England duty — something Maguire called “sickening” — but believe things will be better in Belgrade.

[ MORE: Genk 1-4 Liverpool | Ajax 0-1 Chelsea ]

Maguire is set for a new experience in the tie should he start, sort of. Maguire played a UEL qualifying round match with Hull City in 2014, but this is his first start in a European tournament proper. From ManUtd.com:

“Playing in Europe is another challenge,” he said. “It’s something I’m looking forward to, something I’m relishing. I want to play in the biggest games with the biggest pressure and that’s why I signed for a club like Man United, one of the biggest in the world. I’m looking forward to challenging myself under the lights in European football.”

United kicks off at 12:55 p.m. ET as one of two early starts for Premier League teams.

Wolves begin back-to-back matches against Slovan Bratislava in Slovakia, another situation where the hosts are dealing with recent racial problems.

Thursday’s match was supposed to be behind closed doors, but UEFA have allowed ticket giveaways to youth players and school kids. Wolves aren’t exactly impressed at the lessened punishment.

Here’s Matt Doherty, who says his Wolves will gladly leave the pitch if there’s a problem of any kind. From The Birmingham Mail:

“If it comes to it when players feel uncomfortable then I wouldn’t have a problem with it,” Doherty adds. “I would hate to be in a position where you have to choose. I would hate that, so hopefully it doesn’t happen. I would be more in the mind of trying to beat them on the pitch.”

Wolves have a win and a loss, leaving them a point behind their Thursday opponents and Braga.

The lone PL club kicking off at 3 p.m. is Arsenal, the Gunners having played very well in the Europa League but fairly substandard in the league.

Arsenal is one of five 2-0 teams in the UEL, and can essentially cement their place in the next round by dealing with Vitoria at the Emirates Stadium.

Europa League full slate

12:55 pm. ET
Besiktas v. Braga
Roma v. Borussia Monchengladbach
CSKA Moscow v. Ferencvaros
Partizan Belgrade v. Manchester United
Qarabag v. APOEL Nicosia
Ludogorets Razgrad v. Espanyol
Slovan Bratislava v. Wolves
Porto v. Rangers
Saint-Etienne v. Oleksandriya
Gent v. Wolfsburg
Istanbul Basaksehir v. Wolfsberg
Young Boys v. Feyenoord
AZ Alkmaar v. Astana

3 p.m. ET
Celtic v. Lazio
Sevilla v. Dudelange
Arsenal v. Vitoria
Eintracht Frankfurt v. Standard Liege
Rennes v. CFR Cluj
Sporting Lisbon v. Rosenborg
Getafe v. Basel
Dynamo Kyiv v. Copenhagen
Malmo v. Lugano
PSV Eindhoven v. LASK
Trabzonspor v. Krasnodar