Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has promised to give Harry Maguire as much time as he needs to regain his fitness.
United’s skipper Maguire was forced to leave the pitch in the second half against Aston Villa after suffering ankle ligament damage.
This was for the first time he missed Premier League minutes for the Red Devils since his arrival from Leicester City in 2019.
Despite the fact that Solskjaer’s men have secured Champions League football, they still have to play their most critical game of the season.
United will face Villarreal in the Europa League final in just ten days, giving them the chance to win their first major trophy since 2017.
The manager has provided an update on Maguire’s fitness for the pivotal European clash.
He said: “He’s making progress. When I spoke to him this morning he was quite positive but, naturally, the day after it happened we were all down.
“We saw early on or we decided that we have to focus, have to be positive, and think that you’re gonna make it until you have to say ‘no’.
“I’ve always been an optimist, so we’re positive. But we’ve consciously taken the route of not testing him out too early, too quickly, because we don’t want to aggravate something.
“He wants this so much, so he doesn’t want to take any risks, either.”
“Hopefully we can have good news early, but I’ll give Harry as long as it takes because of course he has shown his importance.
“But hopefully he’ll speed up the recovery and be ready for the final, but I’ll give him as long as he needs, until he says ‘yes’ or ‘no’.”
Due to the injury, he was unavailable for the fixtures last week against Leicester City and Liverpool.
He was missed in the heart of the defence as the Red Devils conceded six goals across two defeats.
Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof struggled to impose their authority during Liverpool’s visit to Old Trafford last Thursday.
The pundits who had previously been quick to criticise Maguire lauded the confidence he provided to the defence.
The Norwegian has always held the 28-year-old defender in high regard, claiming that his efforts have gone unnoticed.
“We’ve known it [his importance] all along, of course,” he added. “But maybe some people open their eyes when he’s not playing!
“I certainly felt I became a very, very good player when I was injured.
“People suddenly realised what I could do as a sub, or as a player.
“Harry’s been our leader, he’s a captain. Ever since he’s come in he’s been more or less ever-present, so of course he’s a big miss at the moment.”
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