Harry Maguire has been granted special permission to travel to Portugal this week to “clear his head.”
While his teammates suffered in the Europa League, Manchester United manager Erik Ten Hag was pleased to see his injured defender fly off to the golf resort of Quinta do Lagofor.
Maguire’s vacation in the sun with family members was approved so that he could “clear his brain” as he recovered from an injury sustained while representing England.
After a string of subpar performances for club and country, Ten Hag is desperate for the under-fire center-back to recapture his long-lost form.
The brutal Dutchman has in the past required that all injured players stay with the team at the club’s Carrington training facility as they work their way back to health.
A report said: “Erik has high standards for everyone to abide by. He expects all injured players to remain with the group.”
“He believes they should function as one unit – injured or not.
“But in Harry’s case he felt there were exceptional circumstances. He wanted him to have a mental break from the pressure he’s under.
“He went away with his family and Erik hopes that will put him in a better place to recover from injury and rediscover his form.”
Maguire will not play against Everton on Sunday at Goodison Park because of his hamstring injury, which he is still recovering from.
Following a string of failures, Ten Hag has frequently supported the skipper.
Ten Hag said, “I have to back him, but I back him because I believe in him,” following Maguire’s dreadful England performance in a 3-3 draw with Germany.
“I can see the qualities and even after he wasn’t in the team he trained really well and, more importantly, the quality was really there.
“You see his career, almost 50 caps for England, for Leicester and Man United – he’s performing really well, what you see is high potential.
“And then it’s about him. The players in the dressing room, the coaches, the manager believe in him.
“That’s what I told him, I’m sure he can do it and he will turn it around, I’m convinced of that.”
But his absence in Cyprus has led to more rifts in the locker room. Following United’s humiliating 6-3 derby loss to Manchester City last weekend, the ongoing issues at Old Trafford were made clear.
Ten Hag invited the players in on Monday to discuss their performance, but the “honest and intense” heart-to-heart “bubbled over” as a result.
The 24-year-old newcomer Lisandro Martinez and the 25-year-old midfielder Scott McTominay were reportedly among the most outspoken United players.
Ten Hag reportedly requested each player to individually apologize to their teammates.
“Some players were blaming others for not covering, which led to full blown arguments”, he said.
“One player told another to ‘concentrate on your own f***ing game’.
“It all got smoothed over but tensions are high. Ten Hag actively encouraged it.“He’s told them he wants to see that level of passion on the field, not after the game has been put to bed.”
A United spokesman said: “Harry Maguire was given permission to travel to Portugal to continue his rehabilitation while the rest of the squad was in Cyprus, allowing him to benefit from the same warm weather conditions.”
“Harry was accompanied by a MU physio and has been working hard on his recovery.”
“He is due back at Carrington on Sunday.”
Harry Maguire this season
In the first ten games of the 2022–2023 season, he has yet to score. He now ranks 165th among Premier League scorers thus far. His shot-to-goal conversion rate is 0.
In the 2022–2023 season, he has four tackles and 12 wins in aerial duels. He added three more blocks on top of that.
He now holds the 237th-best position in the Premier League based on these statistics after match day 10.