Leonardo Bonucci has sung the praise of Manchester United defender Harry Maguire and his mental strength after dealing with ‘stick and attacks’ he’s received.
Bonucci, 36, is considered one of the best central defenders of the last generation and was part of one of the most incredible defensive duos alongside Giorgio Chiellini at Juventus.
Describing the England international as an ‘example’, the Italian general believes that Maguire has shown incredible toughness mentally to move past the barriers of criticism thrown his way in recent years.
“For me, Harry [Maguire] is an example,” he told The Sun. “After all the stick and attacks he’s received, he still plays at Man United and is a regular for England. That’s indicative of his mental strength.”
The central defender was keeping Raphael Varane out of Erik ten Hag’s side before his injury last month and was displaying his best run of form in a United shirt for over a year as he won the November Premier League Player of the Month.
Last season, he rarely played and often made mistakes, and it was viewed that a move away from Old Trafford was inevitable. When his West Ham transfer collapsed, many blamed Maguire and labelled him as unambitious – but his ambitions seemed to be to try and prove people wrong at United.
“Maguire is a rocky and tough defender,” added Bonucci. “He’s shown he is mentally tough, and has leadership skills, personality and intelligence out of the norm.
“Like all of us, he may have some limits, but he’ll be aware of them and iron them out to improve.”
United have been in a difficult spell this season and particularly in recent weeks. They ended 2023 with a loss against Nottingham Forest, making it the fourth-highest amount of losses in a calendar year for the club.
Rashford, 26, has struggled this season as he aims to recreate his form from last term. He now has three goals and five assists in 19 starts.
The England international took to social media to send a message to the supporters as we enter the New Year.
“Disappointing end to 2023 with a defeat,” wrote Rashford. “Much work to do in 2024. Happy New Year.”
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