revealed ’s ‘crazy’ schedule convinced him to recall and hand the club captain his first Premier League start in nearly two months.
were the visitors to Old Trafford on Saturday with the Red Devils forced to contend with a third fixture in the space of six chaotic days.
Maguire has largely been limited to playing in the domestic cup competitions and the Europa League in recent weeks, although he was again part of the England squad which began its Euro 2024 qualification campaign with wins over Italy and Ukraine.
Everton represent one of the most physical sides in the top flight, especially since the appointment of Sean Dyche, but Ten Hag denied that Maguire’s combative qualities motivated his decision to hand the former Leicester City defender a rare chance at the expense of Raphael Varane.
Explaining his team selection, Ten Hag said: He (Maguire) played against Fulham, he played against Betis. He’s fit, he’s ready to play.
‘The thinking is we have most crazy schedule of all the Premier League teams, we have three in six days that’s not right but we have to deal with it.’
Everton have made great strides under Dyche, as evidenced by the point they earned against Tottenham on Monday having been reduced to 10 men before falling behind to Harry Kane’s penalty.
The Toffees offer a threat from set-pieces in particular and Ten Hag urged Maguire to stamp his authority on the match, both when United are with and without the ball.
The United manager added: ‘As well but I think Harry Maguire can deal with all his opponents you just have to bring it on the pitch.
‘I have seen so many things on the training ground and also in games that he can do it.
‘He has to dominate his opponents in and out of possession. I think that is the status that gives him a reputation and it’s what we can demand of him.’
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