In the end, being named captain did little more than add to the mounting pressure already building on Maguire’s shoulders. Moving for such a high fee – £80m – was one thing, but joining a team of United’s stature, where the best is expected week in, week out, meant Maguire was already burdened by the weight of expectation.
Naming him the United captain initially had a positive effect, but his confidence began to really crumble when Solskjær left in November 2021. Last season, the England international started the first two league games of Ten Hag’s reign – a 2-1 home defeat against Brighton and a 4-0 loss at Brentford in August. He would not start another league game until a 1-0 home win against West Ham in late October.