Nemanja Vidic says Harry Maguire’s inconsistent form means he is struggling to command the respect of Manchester United dressing room.
Maguire regained the club captaincy when Erik ten Hag was appointed, despite many believing he should have lost it. But rather than rock the boat entirely, the manager stuck with the skipper appointed back in 2020.
But, during the Dutchman’s first campaign in charge, it has become clear that the England defender isn’t in his plans and has slipped down the pecking order.
When all of United’s defensive options are fit, Maguire is no longer a starter with Raphael Varane and Martinez currently preferred.
Bruno Fernandes has assumed the role of captain while Maguire is on the bench and Ten Hag is facing a decision over the long-term occupant of the role.
The former Leicester defender’s slump at United hasn’t helped his case either, with all signs pointing towards him being sold at the end of the season.
But with injuries to Martinez and Varane, Maguire is likely to be in Ten Hag’s starting lineup for the Premier League run-in, and with that the responsibility of captaincy will return.
Vidic, who was captain under Sir Alex Ferguson knows all too well about the task of leading Manchester United and has spotted his successor’s main issue.
“Maguire has a problem because he doesn’t perform well. When you don’t perform well it’s difficult to say to someone what to do,” Vidic explained.
“I think that Maguire is doing well for the national team, he was great for Leicester. But obviously, he’s struggling to perform for Manchester United the way he’s performing for other clubs.
“It’s difficult to gain that type of respect, it’s nothing against Maguire now. In general, any captain has to be first, has to show an example, has to play well and has to fight for the club and then everybody else will do it.”