"People see footballers as robots" - Manchester United star hits out at fans for not caring about players' emotions

Ten Hag
Ten Hag's captain opens up on criticism from fans

Manchester United captain Harry Maguire has hit out at fans for not caring about players' emotions and has opened up to the Times about being vilified.

Maguire, 29, had a brilliant European Championships campaign with England last year.

The former Leicester City defender made five appearances at the international tournament, helping the Three Lions keep three clean sheets.

Maguire was also named in the team of the tournament for his exploits.

However, he returned to Manchester United and endured a nightmare spell as the Red Devils struggled domestically and in Europe.

Maguire became a scapegoat in a campaign where Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was fired and replaced by interim manager Ralf Rangnick who could only secure a sixth-placed finish.

He made 37 appearances last term, with the Red Devils keeping just eight clean sheets.

Fans on social media targeted the world's most expensive defender with memes mocking his performances.

Every mistake made by the Manchester United skipper was under the microscope, and Maguire has finally opened up on how fans view players.

He said:

“I think people see footballers as robots who don’t have emotions, but of course we have emotions. We’re disappointed and we’re hurt when we don’t play well."

Maguire admitted that he tries to switch away from football when he gets home:

“So when I go home, I try to switch off as best I can. Sometimes it’s harder than others.”

Social media has become increasingly rife with fans teasing players out of form.

An example of this is Maguire's United teammate Jadon Sancho, who missed out on a spot in England's squad for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Not only did many take aim at the former Borussia Dortmund winger's failures, but so too did budget airline Ryanair who sent out a controversial tweet:

"(Jadon Sancho) we'll still fly you somewhere."

Maguire was selected in the Three Lions squad and hopes to replicate his performances from the Euros.

The Red Devils captain has been given a more withdrawn role this season under Erik ten Hag at Old Trafford, making just four starts in nine appearances.

Manchester United boss Ten Hag is prepared to sell Maguire to fund his squad rebuild

Maguire could leave at the end of the season
Maguire could leave at the end of the season

Maguire's issues at Manchester United may end as Ten Hag is reportedly looking to sell the defender in next summer's transfer window.

The English centre-back joined United from Leicester City in 2019 for a world record £78.3 million fee for a defender.

Ten Hag wants to give more competition to Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez, and in doing so, the Red Devils are prepared to cut their losses on Maguire.

This may be just what the former Hull City defender needs to revitalize his club career.

Maguire can escape the heightened pressure of being a Manchester United captain.

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Edited by Matthew Guyett