Dwight Yorke appreciates Harry Maguire is going through a tough phase but implored the centre-back to keep things simple to battle through his dip in form.

Maguire joined Manchester United in August 2019 for £80 million – a world record fee for a defender - from Leicester City on a six-year contract, with the option of a further year.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was the man to bring the England international to the club, though the Norwegian and the Red Devils have now parted ways with United eighth in the Premier League after a 4-1 humiliation at Watford.

Maguire was the first to admit the players must "share the responsibility" for Solskjaer's departure, with his downturn in form coinciding with United's struggles in recent months.

Former striker Yorke, who won three successive top-flight titles at Old Trafford between 1999 and 2002, wants the 28-year-old back at his best to aid United's revival.

"These guys are supposed to be world class," Yorke told Stats Perform.

"This is the number one England defender, stand-in captain when Harry Kane doesn't play. It's just crazy how things change so quickly and opinions of others change so quickly. 

"Listen, you go through phases in your career. And it's never going to be an easy part where you play every game and you get an eight or nine each game and stuff. 

"You're going to have challenges in your time and Harry Maguire is obviously going through one of those phases.

"Especially in a team that is not winning games, you come back into a team that is not winning, not high on confidence, you’re going to be low on confidence and you're going to be making mistakes. 

"And unfortunately, when you're at a club like Manchester United, you're going to be scrutinised, right, left and centre. If you don't perform well, you’re not going to get away with it at Manchester United, and Harry Maguire is no different."

Michael Carrick has been placed in temporary charge as United search for an interim appointment, which looks likely to be Ralf Rangnick, before hiring a permanent solution at the end of the season.

In his first game at the helm against Villarreal, Carrick managed to sure up a shaky defence that has conceded 21 times in the Premier League, only Newcastle United and Norwich have been breached more (both 27).

Maguire captained the side in Tuesday's Champions League clash but Yorke believes the solution for the defender is to return to the basics that have previously served him so well.

"We're talking about someone that we invested £80million in so there's a huge expectation for him," he added.

"Now he has to get back by doing what Maguire did in the first place, that has got him all this recognition, which is to defend and make the game very simple. 

"When you start making it complicated you cause problems, especially in a team that is struggling on confidence at the moment. 

"And this is where if I was Carrick, I would get back to just the basics of getting these players doing their job and doing it well in their areas rather than trying to complicate the game like they are doing at this moment."