Arguably the biggest and most talked about signing this transfer window is Harry Maguire joining Manchester United for a fee of £80m making him the most expensive defender in history. This fee has unsurprisingly sparked debate due to it being higher than that of the previous holder Liverpool’s Virgil Van Dijk who many have believed to be one of if not the best defenders in the world currently. Therefore, Maguire’s impact is up for question in how well he will do this upcoming season due to this big weight on his shoulder.
The possible impact that Maguire will have on United Next season
Worlds most expensive defender
Strengths and weaknesses
There is no question that Harry Maguire is a great player showing this for Leicester City every season as well as for England, most recently in the World Cup of 2018 where England sparked lots of hope. Maguire’s quality does give Manchester United fans a new found excitement for the upcoming season. One of his clear qualities is his calmness on the ball and ability to play the ball out of the back this gives players around him a lot of confidence which is a huge bonus and something united were in need of. As well as this he has a huge aerial prowess which can benefit the side both up the field as well as defensively. He had 152 clearances last season of which 77 were headed clearances. However, one weakness which Maguire has is his pace in the sense that he lacks it, this is an issue for many defenders due to the increasing pace of the forwards in the game. Luckily, it’s not much of a weakness for Harry Maguire who is technically clever and uses this to make up for his pace. Many of the best defenders in the game are good at this, Maguire being one.
Maguire the future of United?
Maguire has potential to be one of the best signings for Manchester United in recent years, as it is quite clear they have been lacking a strong defender since the departure of Nemanja Vidic back in 2014. Manchester United have been relying mainly on the quality of David De Gea to keep them in a strong position however since his disappointing World Cup of 2018 which knocked his confidence, the keeper hasn’t looked as strong. As well as this, the most common centre back pairing for Manchester United has been Chris Smalling and Phil Jones whom for many lack the significant qualities required for a United player. The Manchester side conceded 54 goals last season which is poor for such a prestigious club. Their main rivals, Liverpool and Manchester City conceded only 45 respectively. Therefore, the signing of Harry Maguire could bring back that confidence in defence and might relieve some of the tension on the goalkeeper, this will, most likely, solve many of Manchester United’s problems.
Pressure on the £80m man
Due to the price of his transfer it is natural that comparisons are made between established players, however an issue is that this might be weakness for Maguire as the media attention may knock his confidence at the beginning of the season. Mistakes he makes will then be scrutinized and many will question was he worth the price and If he is good enough for the squad. This is a significant impact to take into account which has been identified by pundits such as former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand. As always it is difficult to tell how well a player will do next season but as the season kicks off Maguire’s impact will soon become clear.