Manchester United United legend Rio Ferdinand has admitted that captain Harry Maguire needs to be ‘taken out of the firing line.’
Following the sack of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as Man United boss, Ferdinand said that Maguire requires a break having suffered a difficult start to the season.
The England defender enjoyed a fine summer with the national team in their run to the Euro 2020 final, but has not been able to reproduce those strong performances for United.
Maguire was criticised heavily after the humiliating defeats to Aston Villa, Leicester City, Liverpool and Manchester City and was sent off in the second half of Saturday’s 4-1 defeat to Watford.
Solskjaer was sacked barely 24 hours after the loss to Watford and Michael Carrick has been given the role of acting manager.
Ferdinand feels that Maguire should be taken out of the squad for now because he might be suffering a ‘hangover’ from the summer and getting dropped may benefit him.
“Harry wouldn’t like to hear this but I just think sometimes you need to be taken out of the firing line,” Ferdinand told the FIVE YouTube channel.
“He’s had a long summer, a successful summer with England to a certain degree. He’s played a lot of football, comes back to United and physically and mentally it looks like there’s a hangover there.
“He won’t take himself out of it, I wouldn’t either, I’d try and play myself through it, but at the moment, his performances haven’t been up to the level required, for him, for Man United. The bar he set himself wouldn’t be there.
“I saw Gary Neville spoke about it the other day that he was having a nightmare after three or four summers on the bounce playing football for England and Man United and needed time off.
“I think Harry Maguire is probably at that point right now.
“The timing [of the red card against Watford] was terrible,’ he added. ‘Harry will be gutted, devastated. He will be sitting at home, he’s a good professional, but he will be sitting there and having to take responsibility for his performances.
“It’s bigger than a red card, this hasn’t been something that just happened at Watford, this has been building for the last few weeks.
“It’s a bit of everything, it’s not the players completely, it’s not the manager solely and the coaching staff, it’s not just the people that run the club.
“All of those elements and individual parts of the football club will have to take responsibility for where we are today because they all played their part in being at this low ebb.”