Agbonlahor thinks Ten Hag has frozen out two players at Man Utd

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Gabriel Agbonlahor thinks Manchester United pair Luke Shaw and Harry Maguire have a big fight on their hands to get into Erik ten Hag’s starting XI after being frozen out. The duo have both struggled for regular action in recent weeks after enduring difficult starts to the season. And with the World Cup in Qatar creeping closer, they also have a fight on their hands to be named in Gareth Southgate’s squad for the competition.

Shaw and Maguire both started, and struggled, as Manchester United lost their opening two Premier League matches against Brighton and Brentford.

And, since then, the duo have struggled to get into Ten Hag’s side.

Shaw has found game time tough to come by at left-back, with Tyrell Malacia keeping him out of the team following his summer arrival from Feyenoord.

And Maguire is out in the cold at a time where Ten Hag seems to have settled on Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane as his preferred centre-back pairing.

Now, speaking to Football Insider, Agbonalor has suggested Shaw and Maguire are being frozen out and ‘scary times’ await the pair as they look to make England’s squad for the World Cup.

“I think it’s impossible for him [Shaw] to regain his place,” the former Aston Villa striker told the publication.

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“I feel that Malacia has been so good that it’s not even an option for Luke Shaw to come back in.

“These are very risky times for some England players. If you’re not playing and somebody else is playing well, it’s a big risk.

“Imagine other full-backs start playing and he could miss out on the World Cup.

“It’s very scary times for players. Luke Shaw doesn’t get back in.

“Harry Maguire as well, it’s risky for him. How much football is he going to play?”

United opted to back Maguire in the summer, keeping the 29-year-old as captain despite calls for the England international to lose the honour.

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But with Martinez and Varane’s partnership going from strength to strength, he now seems to be third-choice centre-back at the club.

Maguire was linked with Chelsea late in the transfer window, at a time where the Blues were hunting reinforcements for Thomas Tuchel.

Yet though United admired Blues pair Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech, no swap deal that would have seen Maguire jump ship to Stamford Bridge was negotiated.

Shaw was also backed in the summer, when Ten Hag decided to loan out Alex Telles to La Liga side Sevilla.

However, with Malacia in such fine form and fettle, the former Southampton star is unlikely to be reinstated to the team any time soon.

While Shaw and Maguire have been struggling for action, however, United appear to be a team starting to get their act together.

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They’ve now won five of their last six matches across all competitions, with the Red Devils recently beating Sheriff 2-0 in the Europa League on Thursday night.

Jadon Sancho put United ahead in the 17th minute, with the England international finding the net for the third time this season in the process.

And a penalty from Cristiano Ronaldo made the result safe, with the Portugal international now up and running for the campaign.

Speaking after that fixture, Ten Hag said he was happy with the result and also singled out Sancho for praise.

“We got the job done, and we know it is always difficult to play here,” said the 52-year-old.

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“We were really direct but I also feel like we controlled the game not from the first minute but after 10 minutes we found our foot in the game and managed to create some spaces.

“It was a great goal and I am really happy for Jadon [Sancho] and he finished off a really good goal, a team goal. But I also think it showed a really good team performance.

“I think Jadon has so much has potential, he had good pre-season.

“First he invested a lot and is on his way to getting really fit. It is a process, he scores goal and is in the moment in the season where he is more secure.

“We can play over that left side with Tyrell [Malacia] and [Christian] Eriksen in that triangle, [and] how they moved together, I think they really were a threat for the opponent.”

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