Harry Maguire injury: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will make late Europa Leauge final call on Man Utd captain

Harry Maguire suffered ankle ligament damage against Aston Villa; the injury means the Manchester United captain could miss the Europa League final against Villarreal on May 26; manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said: "I'll give him as long as he needs until he says yes or no"

Harry Maguire had crutches and wore a brace when watching on from the stands during Man Utd's 4-2 defeat to Liverpool on Thursday
Image: Harry Maguire had crutches and wore a protective when watching on from the stands during Man Utd's defeat to Leicester last week

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will give Manchester United captain Harry Maguire as long as possible to prove his fitness ahead of the Europa League final.

Maguire suffered ankle ligament damage against Aston Villa earlier this month and went on to miss his first Premier League matches since joining United in 2019 when Leicester and Liverpool both won at Old Trafford in midweek.

The England centre-back is expected to sit out of United's remaining Premier League games against Fulham and Wolves, but Solskjaer remains hopeful the 28-year-old will be fit for the Europa League final against Villarreal on May 26.

"Hopefully we can have good news early. I'll give it as long as it takes with Harry. He has shown his importance," Solskjaer said.

I'll give him as long as he needs until he says yes or no. He wants this so much, so he doesn't want to take any risks.
Solskjaer on Maguire

"We've known it all along, but maybe some people open their eyes more when he's not playing. I certainly felt I became a very good player when I was injured, people suddenly realised what I could do as a sub.

"Harry has been our leader. He's a captain. He's been more or less ever-present, so he's a big miss at the moment but hopefully he'll be ready for the final.

"I'll give him as long as he needs until he says yes or no."

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Harry Maguire watches on from the stands during Man Utd's 4-2 defeat to Liverpool 0:21
Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says his side must be able to cope without their injured captain Harry Maguire following their 4-2 defeat to Liverpool

Maguire was seen watching Tuesday night's Premier League loss to Leicester and Thursday's defeat by Liverpool from the directors' box at Old Trafford, wearing a protective boot and walking with crutches.

While battling to return for the final, he is also likely to miss United's final two matches of the league campaign against Fulham and Wolves this coming week.

Solskjaer added: "He's making progress, but we're consciously taking the route of not testing him too quickly because we don't want to aggravate something.

"He wants this so much, so he doesn't want to take any risks. When I spoke to him he was quite positive. Naturally the day after it happened we were all down, but we decided we had to focus and be positive and think you're going to make it until you have to say no. I've always been an optimist so I'm positive."

Solskjaer IV after Liverpool 3:43
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says that his side gifted Liverpool three goals and they missed captain Harry Maguire after their 4-2 defeat in the Premier League

Ole: We're ready for the next step

Solskjaer is targeting a first piece of silverware as United manager, and after losing four semi-finals the Norwegian - who won nine major trophies as a player at Old Trafford - believes his side are ready to win their first trophy since 2017, when they won the Europa League under Jose Mourinho.

"Of course we want to win it, because those nights when you win the trophy that brings everyone together. It's a celebration. When you lose a big game it's disappointment," Solskjaer added.

Manchester United have reached the Europa League final
Image: Manchester United reached the Europa League final after beating Roma in the semis

"When we won in '99, of course it has made history, but it didn't make me a better player. It didn't make us individually better players, but as a group we believed we could go on to win more stuff, and we comfortably won the league the next two seasons. It gives you a lot.

"But only time will tell. As I've said trophies will hide other facts, but we felt we've come a long way. We've done it the hard way, we've lost four semi-finals, now we're in a final. We're ready for the next step."

The United boss also remained tight-lipped on whether Dean Henderson or David de Gea would get the nod in goal if both are fit for the final in Gdansk.

Solskjaer added: "I think there are loads of difficult calls. The whole squad has contributed so much. It's probably a different scenario with the 'keepers than it's normally been, because they're both in and around the 30 [games] mark. Both have done really well, it's going to be difficult but I'll have to make other ones as well."

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