Man Utd icon tells Harry Maguire to give up captaincy and ‘get back to basics’

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Harry Maguire has been told by a former Manchester United captain to give up the armband and get his game right again. The England international had a miserable season at club level last year after suffering a severe loss of form as United struggled to compete for the top four places.

And this summer that spilled over into his England performances to such an extent he was booed onto the field in his final appearance against Hungary at Molineux. With all the off-field shenanigans that has gone on at Old Trafford in the last 12 months including dressing room rows and a change of manager, Maguire has struggled to hold things together after a meteoric rise to the top of the game which really only started at the 2018 World Cup finals.

Now Mikael Silvestre, the former France international who wore the armband sporadically during his nine years at Manchester United, has floated the idea of him relinquishing the role to give himself a chance to get his game head back on straight again. “It is tough,” the 44-year-old former left-back said.

“It is a double challenge. Because before being a captain, you need to be a technical leader – and that means playing at your best.

“Leadership comes second. But I think he is aware of his situation and he knows exactly where he is in terms of his performances, so hopefully a good break mentally, with a new manager and a new dynamic, that will help him to go back to his best.”

Silvestre added that Maguire should feel no shame in the move. With plenty of other candidates at the club, it is only in this country that such a big deal is made of the person wearing the armband.

“We make a lot, especially in England, of who is captain of the team or not,” he said. “I don’t know why there is so much focus on that, because when you have Cristiano Ronaldo, David de Gea and Bruno Fernandes, you have several ‘captains’ in terms of material.

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“So it does not really matter. If you have a British international in your squad and he is capable of being captain, it is good for the identity of the club.

“But it is not a necessity. So for Harry I would say the most important thing would be to get back to basics and become again a very, very good defender.”

Mikael Silvestre was speaking at the launch of SPITCH’s all new Season Mode. SPITCH is a fantasy football app where you compete against other participating managers for the chance to win cash prizes. Sign up and earn £5 in credit here. 18+ only.

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