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Harry Maguire : Core of United defence

Harry Maguire

Jacob Harry Maguire, joined Manchester United last summer as Ole’s first set of signings as permanent manager. Being criticized for not being worth the money spent on him, Maguire has stepped up and proven all of them wrong. Being a solid figure in Manchester United’s defence throughout the season. Today on Tactical Masterclass, we cover the Captain of Manchester United, Harry Maguire.

Club Career

Initial Years

Maguire started playing football in the Sheffield United youth academy. Till 2011 he was a regular figure at the Blades youth team. Maguire was promoted to first team, as Sheffield fought relegation that season. However, the club got relegated to League One next season with Maguire making four first team appearances.

First Team Regular

Next season saw Maguire become the face of the Blades defence. Making several appearances throughout the season in the clubs hunt to gain promotion. And scoring his first goal for the club in Match Day 1 in a 2-0 win against Oldham Athletic. With stellar performances throughout the season, he was awarded ‘Player of the Year’ and ‘Young Player of the Year’ by the club.

Maguire Sheffield United
Maguire at Sheffield United

Harry was a constant figure in Sheffield’s first team defence the next two years. Racking up appearances and game time, he kept on impressing as a player. By the end of the 2013-14 season, Maguire had made 166 appearances, with 12 goals and 10 assists for Sheffield United.

Joined Hull City

In July 2014, Maguire joined Hull City for a transfer fee of £2.5 million. Making his debut for the tigers in a 1-0 defeat against Lokeren in the UEFA Europa League in August. However, his Premier League debut came much later. After 3 months since his club debut, Maguire made his Premier League debut against Swansea City in December.

In the 2nd half of the season, Maguire joined Wigan Athletic on a one-month loan deal. By only managing to make 6 appearances for Hull during the first half, Maguire found more game time in Wigan Athletic. Which made him extend the deal till the end of the season. While in his time at Wigan Athletic, he made 16 appearances with a goal and an assist to his name. And returned to Hull the next season.

Also Read : Di Marzio on Pogba: “I think he could leave”

First Team Regular at Hull

Mike Phelan, then manager of Hull City, promoted Maguire into a regular first team player. The 2016-17 season saw him redefine himself as the first choice CB. His first goal for the club came in a 2-1 EFL Cup win over Bristol City. Being the captain of the tigers, he led the side that won 4-2 to Middlesbrough, and scoring his first Premier League goal for the club as well. Though Hull City ended up being relegated, Maguire was awarded the Player of the Year.

Maguire hull city
Maguire after scoring a goal for Hull City

His stats during his time at Hull City were as follows:

  • Matches : 75
  • Goals : 3
  • Assists : 5

Joined Leicester City

In June 2017, Maguire moved to Leicester City for a transfer fee of £17 million. He played every minute for the club during his first season. In addition, scored his first goal for the club just eight days after club debut. In a 2-0 win over Brighton and Hove Albion away from home. As a result of brilliant first season at King Power, he was awarded the ‘Player of the Season’ at Leicester as well.

Maguire Leicester
Maguire at King Power Stadium

Next season, there were rumours of Maguire to Manchester United for a record fee. Claude Puel, Leicester’s manager during the time, confirmed that the defender will not be leaving.

Maguire’s stats at Leicester City are :

  • Matches : 76
  • Goals : 5
  • Assists : 3

Joined Manchester United

In July 2019, Harry Maguire joined Manchester United for a world record fee of £80 million. Subsequently becoming the most expensive defender surpassing Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk. He was one of the first set of players to be brought to Old Trafford after Ole became a permanent manager. The defender made his club debut in Match Day 1 of the Premier League at Old Trafford against Chelsea. The reds won the match 4-0 with Maguire being awarded Man of the Match.

maguire goal chelsea
Maguire scored his first PL goal for United.

Maguire became the Captain after the departure of then club captain Ashley Young in January. He scored his first goal for the club in a 6-0 demolition against Tranmere Rovers in the FA Cup. Similarly, his first Premier League goal came in the away leg against Chelsea. When a brilliant Bruno Fernandes corner was headed in by the Captain for a 2-0 away win.

Style of Play

Maguire, as we all know, commands the CB position as his own. He might not be the fastest, but can stop a counter attack with his killer tackles. Maguire has always had a high reputation in set pieces. As a result, he lives by that reputation and is a monster at set pieces. His ability of winning aerial duals is unmatched in the Premier League. No defender has better crosses than United’s captain. And is equally good at Intercepting through balls and crosses as well.

Also Read : Fabrizio Romano on United’s transfers Ft Pogba & Sancho

Player Comparisons

By becoming the most expensive defender last summer, there have been many criticism about Maguire not being worth the money. In addition, let us look at some of Maguire’s biggest competitions in the Premier League.

Harry Maguire vs Virgil van Dijk

Maguire vs Virgil
Maguire vs van Dijk
  • Tackles : 1.1 – 0.8
  • Interceptions : 1.7 – 1.0
  • Clearances : 4.4 – 4.6
  • Blocks : 0.5 – 0.4
  • Key Passes : 0.4 – 0.2

Harry Maguire vs Çaglar Söyüncü

Maguire vs soyuncu
Maguire vs Soyuncu
  • Tackles : 1.1 – 1.8
  • Interceptions : 1.7 – 1.4
  • Clearances : 4.4 – 4.2
  • Blocks : 0.5 – 0.6
  • Key Passes : 0.4 – 0.1

Harry Maguire vs Toby Alderweireld

Maguire vs toby
Maguire vs Alderweireld
  • Tackles : 1.1 – 1.3
  • Interceptions : 1.7 – 0.8
  • Clearances : 4.4 – 5.1
  • Blocks : 0.5 – 1.0
  • Key Passes : 0.4 – 0.3

Overview

To sum up, Harry Maguire is one of the best CBs in the world right now. Therefore, the defender is only going to improve after a great first season. However, his captaincy has been a major plus point to his success in the 2nd half of the season. Since Maguire’s inclusion, United are only behind PSG in most number of clean sheets(17 off 42) in top 5 leagues across Europe. Being the Captain of a club like Manchester United is surely paying off on Maguire and is helping him bring his A game to the field. Hoping to see many more solid performances at the back by our Captain.

Does Maguire justify his price tag? Do you see Maguire as our long term Captain? Do let us know your thoughts.

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