Former Chelsea midfielder Craig Burley has warned Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer that Harry Maguire’s form is becoming a “major concern”.
United paid £80million to bring Maguire to Old Trafford from Leicester City last summer in what was a world-record fee for a defender.
The England centre-back has produced some dominating performances at the heart of the Red Devils defence and was awarded the captaincy in January.
However, Maguire has made a number of high-profile errors since the Premier League’s restart and his performances have drawn criticism.
The 27-year-old was beaten easily by Steven Bergwijn as the winger opened the scoring in Spurs’ draw with United.
Two weeks later, Maguire was nutmegged in the penalty area as Junior Stanislas scored for Bournemouth at Old Trafford.
And Maguire was partly to blame as Michael Obafemi pounced on some tame set piece defending to equalise for Southampton in Monday night’s 2-2 draw.
Burley went so far as to describe Maguire as “cumbersome” during an assessment of United’s options in central defence.
“I think Lindelof is OK but for the money they paid for Harry Maguire, I tell you he is looking very cumbersome to me,” he told ESPN FC .
“If I was Solskjaer, that centre-half pairing would be a big concern for me. We know they’re not the only team. We know City are looking for centre halves, we know Chelsea are, Arsenal are desperate for them.
“All these clubs are desperate for these defenders and Manchester United are another club that are in that scenario.”
Though the draw with the Saints dented United’s hopes of securing a top four finish, Burley believes the Red Devils are still on course to secure Champions League football.
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However, the ex-Scotland international insists United would already be sure of a top four finish if they had a coach with “tactical nous”.
Burley added: “I think United are the favourites to get in it because of their remaining fixtures but if they’d have had a man in charge from the start of the season who in my opinion was up to the task properly they would probably have nailed it down already by now.