It’s looking increasingly unlikely that Harry Maguire will play any part in Manchester United’s Europa League final tonight after he failed to participate in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s final training session.
The 28-year-old had played every minute of every Premier League game for the Red Devils since his arrival in the summer of 2019, until he injured his ankle against Aston Villa on May 5th.
His likely absence will be a huge blow to United’s hopes of securing their first major trophy in four years when they take on La Liga outfit Villarreal in Gdansk, Poland.
United flew Magurie out to Poland in the hope of him getting over his ankle issue in time for the game, but it looks like time has run out for the England international.
In Solskjaer’s press conference on Tuesday evening, the Norwegian manager kept his cards close to his chest over the England international’s fitness levels.
“Harry is just going to jog up and down the sideline a bit I reckon,” said the United boss after he was asked about Maguire’s chances of playing in midweek.
However, left-back Luke Shaw offered more insight into his teammate’s wellbeing.
“Harry’s here, he’s travelled with us. There’s another session to go, and we’ll see how he is. We’re hoping he’ll be available, but the main focus is for the players who are out there to fit to enjoy the session today and be ready for tomorrow,” said United’s Players’ Player of the year.
Despite Shaw’s apparent optimism, though, Maguire, who is currently valued at £36m, could only watch United’s last training session from the stands, disappearing down the tunnel after just fifteen minutes, meaning it looks certain that he won’t be fit enough to play in the game.
The former Leicester City man’s likely absence will offer an opportunity to either Eric Bailly or Axel Tuanzebe to stake a claim for a regular starting berth next season as talk continues to rumble on over who should partner the Ole Trafford outfit’s captain in the long-term.
A dominant display alongside Victor Lindelof could give either man’s career a significant boost, whether they remain at United or not, and it will be intriguing to see how the rest of the side cope without their influential leader in the biggest game of the season.
Ultimately though, the United fans will undoubtedly be gutted at the news of Maguire’s expected unavailability at it a major setback for the Red Devils as Maguire’s presence on the sidelines, rather than the starting XI, significantly harms their chances of lifting the Europa League trophy once again.