Robin van Persie has called out Manchester United captain Harry Maguire, saying that his distribution needs to improve.

It has been a difficult start to the season for Maguire, whose legal trouble in Greece in the summer was followed by a series of poor performances for club and country.

Former United striker Van Persie has singled out distribution as one area of Maguire’s game that needs to get better – but stressed that it’s not all his fault.

“Everyone is talking about Maguire being fantastic on the ball, so far he’s not been fantastic on the ball going forward with his passing but that’s not only down to him,” Van Persie said on BT Sport.

“Overall, in some situations – the team is not well positioned. You see Fred coming to take on the ball from the centre-back places – he should notdo that, Maguire should do that – he should play in a zone higher up the pitch where it’s more difficult to play but it gives people more options to play.

“Forward players should play as high as possible. It’s not clicking because the positioning of the players is not right.”

United are currently 15th in the Premier League after a difficult start to their domestic campaign. With just nine goals from six matches, Van Persie believes that the team’s attack could be improved by more attacking moves that start from Maguire in the back.

“On the pitch what I’m seeing is that he could bring more to the team, defensively but especially on the ball because everyone was talking about how great he is on the ball,” Van Persie added.

“It is not only down to him, you have to make space for each other. He should get options in midfield from the forward players. Do they give him enough options?

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