During an appearance on talkSPORT in November 2020 following United’s 1-0 defeat at home to Arsenal, Deeney questioned why Paul Pogba was bearing the brunt of criticism, insisting other senior members of Ole Gunner Solskjaer’s squad like Maguire should be equally responsible.
Appearing on Ben Foster’s Fozcast, the forward explained how in the days that followed, he received a call from Maguire’s agent Kenneth Shepherd who was furious with the comments, insisted Deeney would not have said it to Maguire’s face.
‘If I ever talk about an individual, I will always say about that game and in that moment,’ Deeney said.’ So I had an incident with Harry Maguire when I was at Watford.
‘We were speaking about Man United [on talkSPORT] and we were talking about the leadership and how it’s not just Pogba because it was about Pogba getting battered early doors. But in leadership, what about Harry Maguire, what about de Gea, what about all the senior guys, why is it just Pogba? That’s all I said.
‘I get to training and the phone is ringing, this number I don’t know. Two or three times this same number calls so I thought “there must be a problem here”. I picked it up, and it’s Harry Maguire’s agent. “You can’t say this, you can’t do that.” I’ve never said this out loud. “You can’t do this, you can’t do that, you wouldn’t say this to Harry’s face.”
‘I was like, “hold on one second, let’s rewind. I have said this, I didn’t say that, but I would say it to Harry’s face because I’ve got no problem.
‘I said, “let me call him [Maguire] now and I’ll come back to you. I called him and he has no clue what’s going on.
‘So I phone the agent back and said, “listen, with the greatest respects, please don’t phone my phone giving it the big ‘un. Because I’m not that guy and you will have a problem you don’t want.”’
Deeney added that Maguire was completely unaware of the call made by the agent.
‘To be fair to Harry, he said the same thing, he said “I don’t know what that’s all about.”
‘I said, “it’s not a problem, but the way he phoned, and the aggression he was having, a younger me would have taken that a lot more personally.’
That defeat to Arsenal left United 15th in the season at that moment in time. United recovered to finish the 2020/21 in second place but Solskjaer was sacked by the club by the following year.
Since Erik ten Hag’s arrival at the summer, Maguire has lost his place in the United starting XI with reports suggesting he will among a clutch of players who the club will listen to offers for in the summer.
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