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Ex-Manchester United star Jaap Stam highlights what’s missing from Harry Maguire’s performances this season

The Dutchman did not hold back on his opinions regarding Maguire’s current form.

A number of players have been heavily criticised for their performances over the past year at Manchester United, chief among them captain Harry Maguire.

Ralf Rangnick’s takeover as interim manager has been overshadowed with rumours of discontent persisting in the dressing room.

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Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho are two players who have been picked on recently for their noticeable drop in form but it is fellow England international Maguire who is the latest to receive criticism from ex-United player Jaap Stam.

The Dutchman, who played for United from 1998 to 2001, was one of the best defenders of his generation.

Stam was one of the best defenders of his generation

The 49-year-old has now voiced his opinion, slamming United for spending a £80m on the defender.

Speaking on The Michael Anthony Show, Stam said: “It’s a lot of money they paid for (Maguire). To be honest, when I saw him at Leicester City he was a decent player.

“I think Wes Brown was quicker and faster than him. He was more mobile too in 1v1s in big spaces. When you play for United you need to be able to defend 1v1s in big spaces.

“I do think it is important to have good players around (Maguire). When he has good players around him to support him that helps. When I had good players around me, I could perform a little bit better too.

“I’ve seen Maguire play good football too but I think sometimes he wants to do more than what has been asked of him.

The current United captain joined for a record fee of £80 million

“Sometimes he needs to play a little bit more simple. In his way of thinking as well. I really think that the players in front of him can help him out.

“They can help him play out. Then the partnership with (Raphael) Varane should help him. I think it’s good that he can step in as well.”

‘They need to look at the system’

Not only did the former Dutch international slam Maguire’s performances but went on to criticise the recruitment system at United.

“If nobody is happy with Harry and how he is playing and performing, they should look at the recruitment system.

“Look at who made the decision to bring him in and who decided to pay that much for a player we really don’t fancy or a player we really don’t like.”

Stam was also asked for his thoughts on United’s performances more generally. He added: “I follow them. I try to watch all of the games and see how they are doing and how they are performing.

“I also try to keep track of all the results. As I went into management, I look at United in how they are playing, the players they are bringing in and the philosophy of playing and the style of play.

“I also look at whether they are that dominant, whether they are keeping possession of the ball, whether they are playing forwards quickly and whether they are pressing high up the pitch, being very aggressive and very resilient.

“But when you look at this United team you don’t always see that. That’s hard to understand. It’s one of the biggest clubs in the world. Everyone should be proud they are a player that gets the opportunity to play for them.”