Paul Merson says he is “quite surprised” that Harry Maguire has not asked to leave Old Trafford in the summer and made his prediction for Manchester United’s Premier League clash with Arsenal.
Maguire started for United in the first two games of the season in which the Red Devils were beaten at home by Brighton and defeated 4-0 at Brentford.
But he has been left out of United’s last three games, with Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane forming an impressive centre-back partnership and helping Ten Hag’s side to three straight wins.
With his playing time under threat and a World Cup just around the corner, Merson is “surprised” Maguire hasn’t pushed for a move from Old Trafford towards the end of the summer transfer window.
“At the moment Manchester United’s four defenders are keeping both Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw out of the team,” Merson told Sportskeeda.
“It’s a problem for England and Gareth Southgate – Maguire is their main defender!
“This is the World Cup we are talking about and while I believe there is no need to panic at the moment, the fact that he has not played football will be a cause for concern.
“Actually, I’m quite surprised he hasn’t pushed for a transfer, to be honest.”
It remains to be seen if Maguire will be involved in Manchester United’s game against Premier League leaders Arsenal tomorrow.
The Gunners are yet to drop a point this season but face a United side looking back on the right track after a dismal start to the campaign.
Merson made his prediction for the game, adding: “This is a massive test for Arsenal. They’ve won five Premier League games straight away and it’s important they don’t lose that game.
“If they go to Old Trafford and get a draw, that’s a great start to the season. If they lose, people will call them flat track bullies – same old arsenal. This is a big game for them.
“I don’t think Cristiano Ronaldo will start Manchester United this week. They are confident as a team and hard to beat.
“They have two clean sheets and everything starts at the front. Fair play for Erik ten Hag! They’re completely different from what they were against Brentford – that’s what top managers do.
“It’s hard to tinker with a team when you’ve won three straight away and I don’t see Casemiro starting this game.
“It would also be unfair to the player if Man United lose on Sunday. Don’t change what isn’t broken. I would drive with the same eleven this weekend.
“If Man United win this game they will be in the top four in the Premier League. Four straight wins and everyone says: “Wow! Look at her!”
“I would be quite shocked if Arsenal won this game. They may have to play without their two best footballers – Odegaard and Zinchenko.
“If Odegaard is injured I would go with Emile Smith Rowe – it’s a big challenge for Fabio Vieira to start this Premier League game.
“Arsenal can’t afford to lose and they don’t need to win this game now – a draw should be enough and that’s what I’m aiming for, 1-1.”
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