A lot of eyebrows were raised when Manchester United forked out £80 million for Harry Maguire. The England defender arrived from Leicester City to help bolster the United defence in 2019, and since then he has become the captain of arguably one of the biggest clubs on the planet.
United’s bitter rivals Liverpool had just spent a similar amount of money on Virgil van Dijk, a Dutch defender who was playing for Southampton. This proved to be a very successful bit of business, as he helped Liverpool win the Premier League and the Champions League. United hoped Harry Maguire would be as successful when he arrived at Old Trafford, but unfortunately for him and his new side, they have failed to win a major competition.
Why Harry Maguire Was Worth the Money
1. Maguire is a Leader
When Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took over as the manager at Manchester United in 2018, his squad lacked leadership. He believed in young players, yet he had very few players in his ranks that were to lead the side. Playing for England and Leicester City, it was obvious that he had the ability to make sure others were doing their jobs. He is not afraid to bark orders at his teammates, which is one of the reasons United paid such a large sum of money for his signature.
During United’s glory days, they had plenty of players that captained the side. Legends like Bryan Robson, Roy Keane and Eric Catona are just a few players that led by example. A lot of people believe that United were so successful because they had captains like this in their side and Solskjaer was hoping Maguire would go down the same road. Maguire’s teammates have the utmost respect for the England international, and although he had a shaky start to the 202/-21 season, he showed his quality as the season progressed.
2. Best Defender at Euro 2020
England were very unlucky not to win the Euro 2020 final after they lost out to Italy in a penalty shoot-out. Maguire had a fantastic competition, as his side only conceded two goals in open play. Without a doubt, Maguire will be proud of the way he and his teammates played in the tournament, and he will be feeling gutted to have come away empty-handed.
He was one of the best players in the competition, and pundits around the globe were impressed with how the Englishman played in each game of the tournament. He played alongside John Stones, the Manchester City centre-back, who also played extremely well. Victor Lindelof has looked shaky at times when playing for the Red Devils, especially in the air. However, when Maguire lines up next to a top-class defender, United will look a lot more dangerous.
3. He is Good at Reading the Game
A very important part of becoming a world-class defender is being able to read the game. Maguire is not the fastest player on the pitch, and he can struggle when he comes up against fast, tricky attackers. However, he is able to read the game and control his fellow defenders at the same time, which makes it difficult for players to get past him and attack.
Because of his physical presence, attackers find it hard to take on the 6’4″ defender. He has a presence in and around the box. He knows how to use his strength, and unlike a lot of other big defenders, he rarely gives penalties away.
4. He Can Head the Ball
When a cross comes into the box, Harry Maguire is always looking to get his head on the ball. Because he is so strong, others rarely manage to get there before him. He controls Manchester United’s boxes from set-pieces, and their opponent rarely scores when he is in the starting line-up.
When United are awarded a corner or a free-kick they intend on crossing, the player normally aims the ball at Maguire. However, many believe that Maguire should score more goals. Since arriving at Old Trafford, the former Sheffield United defender has played 107 games for United but has only managed to score five times. A lot of football fanatics have been placing bets in an online casino, hoping for Harry Maguire to score, but unfortunately, he rarely does for his club. In the 2021/22 season, Manchester United fans will hope the English superstar will score more goals.
5. He is Motivated to Win for Both Club and Country
Manchester United came very close to winning their first major competition in 2020/21 when they lost to Villareal in the Europa Cup final on penalties. Although Harry Maguire was injured for the final after he had sustained a knee injury a few weeks before the game, it has made him hungry to go on and make sure the same thing doesn’t happen in the 2021/22 season.
Maguire and his teammates are desperate for success, and winning a major competition is on the top of their agenda for the new season. If Ole Gunnar Solskjaer fails to compete for the title or the Champions League, many believe his job will be on the line. There are a lot of expectations at a club like Manchester United, but because they fell short in recent seasons, plenty of fans feel that this is their year. Having experienced such lows in recent years, the United players will have the experience to go the whole way this time around.
Although English fans are still trying to get over the loss against Italy, Maguire has been planning for the World Cup in Qatar. He publicly announced he will do everything possible to make sure they do well in the tournament, and many expect them to perform well.
Maguire had a lot of criticism during the early stages of his Manchester United career, but as time went by, it seems that more and more people are seeing how well he can play. However, there are always going to be critics in the football world, especially for those playing for England’s most famous side. Maguire looks like he can handle the pressure, and United fans will hope he performs well this season and beyond.