Maguire and Garnacho

Maguire: Erik will always give chances

Friday 19 January 2024 10:30

Harry Maguire says young, homegrown players will always get an opportunity at Manchester United under Erik ten Hag.

The Dutchman has given senior debuts to Dan Gore, Willy Kambwala and Omari Forson this season, with Kobbie Mainoo and Charlie McNeill also making their senior bow in 2022/23.

Those appearances have United on the cusp of achieving a remarkable landmark, as the next Academy graduate will be the 250th youth-team player to represent the seniors.

It’s something Maguire sees as a cornerstone of the club’s identity.

“I think this club is always built on bringing players through the Academy, we have an excellent record,” said Maguire.

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“The Academy has always done really well and brought great players through and I think this manager has always proven that if you do well, you come up and you train, you get the opportunities and you get given the chance to impress.

“And he's not scared of putting players in and giving them opportunities to play on the big stage. That’s when it matters in first-team football.”

Alejandro Garnacho is perhaps the best example of grasping that opportunity.

The electrifying winger has progressed from FA Youth Cup winner to full Argentina international under Ten Hag, making 64 appearances and scoring 10 goals.

Garna has won our last two Player of the Month prizes but Maguire believes there is still more to come from the Reds’ no.17.

“Yeah, obviously he's young still. He's still got a lot to learn, but he’s an excellent player and a great talent,” he added.

“He’s a player that I’m sure is going to have a bright future for this club, if he keeps his head down and keeps working hard.

“I think you've seen in glimpses this season that he's got exceptional talent. I'm sure he'll keep going and help the team in the future.”

Garnacho wins Player of Month for December


Alejandro has claimed back-to-back awards for the first time in his United career.

At the other end of the age spectrum, 36-year-old Jonny Evans returned to the club over the summer, eight years after leaving his boyhood club for West Bromwich Albion.

Maguire partnered Evans at Leicester City and he’s delighted with the impact he’s made in the Reds' dressing room.

“Jonny is an excellent player," said Harry. "He’s done really well in all the games that he's played this season and he’s great to have around the place.

“He's great to have as a mentor and for players to look up to. He's professional. He’s been a great acquisition to the team and he’s done fantastically well.

“Obviously, he's had great times at this club and he’s won big trophies for this club, so he knows what it's about.

“He knows the standards that we need to get to and that's what we're all striving for in terms of getting to them standards, so we can push on and make this club successful, like it demands to be.”