Man Utd ace Harry Maguire names only United player who ‘performed to a level’ this season

Erik ten Hag sets out plans for Man Utd

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Manchester United captain Harry Maguire has named Cristiano Ronaldo as the player who performed to their full capabilities in the club’s disastrous 2021-22 season. The Red Devils went into the campaign expecting to challenge for major honours including the Premier League title after signing Ronaldo, Raphael Varane and Jadon Sancho but ended with their worst points total for 32 years.

United won just 16 of their 38 Premier League games and lost 12, finishing a chasmic 35 points off of champions Manchester City and 13 points adrift of Tottenham, who claimed the final Champions League spot in fourth. Their season included Ole Gunnar Solskjaer being sacked by interim replacement Ralf Rangnick struggled to yield improved results from the same squad.

Skipper Maguire was one of the many United players to struggle but the club are looking ahead to a new era next season under Erik ten Hag. The Dutchman arrives from Ajax where he won three league titles, only being denied a fourth by Covid, and he will oversee a much-needed upheaval that United hope will usher in success. They have not won a league title since 2013 and are now five seasons without a trophy of any kind.

Asked if he’s spoken with Ten Hag yet, Maguire named Ronaldo – the club’s top goalscorer with 24 goals, 14 more than any other player – as the only team-mate of his to play to their level this year. England centre-half Maguire said: “I haven’t spoken to him [Ten Hag] yet.

“I’m sure he totally understands where I’m at in terms of coming away with my country. I’m sure we’ll speak in the next few weeks. We’ve got to improve and we’ve got to do better because last season was nowhere near good enough.

“The new manager will bring in a lot of positive energy and the lads will go with that. This year has just been a difficult season for the club in general. I think we can look at individual performances but I think every player at the club has not performed to a level apart from Cristiano with his goals.

“But if you look at individual performances, I think it’s hard when you’re playing in a team when collectively we’ve not been good enough, not been tight enough and we’ve not worked well enough as a group.”

Ten Hag has declared that he wants the players in the United squad, Maguire included, to prove themselves to him. “That is what I expect. I have high expectations from myself and that is also what I demand from my squad.

“They have to co-operate together and they have to give every day their best. And I would say, for me, good is not good enough. We have to do better. That is really exciting.

“Also for me, of course, it’s new. I was at Ajax for a long time: four-and-a-half years. We had a great time, but now it’s a new start also for me and we have to build it up from the bottom, on zero. I have to build, starting a new relationship with the squad, with my players.”

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