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Wednesday, December 8, 2021

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Paul Parker tells Manchester United to remove Harry Maguire as captain

Former Manchester United defender Paul Parker has urged Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to pull rank and strip Harry Maguire of the club captaincy.

Maguire, who joined United from Leicester City in the summer of 2019 in an £80million deal, has been in poor form in recent weeks and has been guilty of making a series of costly errors.

His latest came in Saturday’s 2-0 defeat to Manchester City at Old Trafford — a result that consigned United to their fourth Premier League defeat in six games.

Along with fellow England international Luke Shaw, Maguire failed to spot the run of Bernardo Silva, who poked the ball home from close range to double City’s lead right on the stroke of half time.

It was the latest error on an ever-growing recent list for Maguire, with his form since returning from injury last month visibly shaky.

Now, former United man Parker has called on Solskjaer to take the captaincy away from the 28-year-old, insisting he could do with a period of time of being allowed to purely focus on his defensive duties.

Parker told the Talking Devils podcast: “Ole has to make a decision. Harsh ones about individuals to test their character. Take away the armband and tell him to become a centre-half first. It’s embarrassing now.

“Roy [Keane] spoke out last week and a fan called him out outside the ground. It’s a modern thing – ‘don’t have a go at them’ – we don’t want people being upset. But do it. Upset people. Test their characters.

“How much do they want to wear that jersey? How much do they want to play football? How much do they want to play for Manchester United?

“I look at Harry Maguire. He just puts his hand up looking for offside. He’s there playing everyone on and looks to the assistant. He wants to blame other people.

“The wing-backs were not able to attack like they did at Spurs. It was a back five.

“Bruno [Fernandes] was gesturing to players to push up because the so-called captain doesn’t speak and doesn’t take responsibility.”

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