Harry Maguire: Worth Every Penny
The transfer saga surrounding Harry Maguire continues, with Manchester United not yet meeting Leicester City’s £80 million demand. United’s bid was £10 million less than this. At present, neither side are willing to budge. The fee is astronomical for a defender who lacks pace and has a history of making mistakes. However, for United, he is worth every penny.
Why Harry Maguire is Worth £80 Million
Ability on the Ball
Manchester United dominate possession in the majority of games. However, at times they struggle to break down well-organised teams. In these situations, a defender with the ability to carry the ball forward is priceless.
Bringing the ball out is one of Maguire’s main strengths. His powerful runs can drag several defenders with him, opening up space for attacking players. This is something which United’s lacked last season. However, if Maguire joins alongside the talented Aaron Wan-Bissaka, United should be able to break down defensive opposition more often.
Furthermore, his ability to move the ball is key. He doubles up as a deep-lying playmaker. He completed over 1,700 passes last season: only one United centre back passed the 1,000 mark.
Harry Maguire is a True Leader
United have lacked a defensive leader since the end of the Ferdinand-Vidic era. This has been due to poor recruitment and a high turn over of players. The result is a leaky defence – only Fulham and Huddersfield Town Town kept less clean sheets last season.
The talent was not elite but it was certainly better than that. The lack of strong leadership created a lack of accountability. The United defence lacks on field organisation, a vocal presence and someone to be straight with his teammates. Harry Maguire is all of these. He is a strong personality who is liked by teammates, coaches and fans.
His ongoing commitment to Leicester during this transfer saga highlight his professionalism, something which would be a welcome addition to the United dressing room. More importantly, he is a vocal presence on the pitch, often seen organising the Leicester backline.
This leadership is vital for United, who will field a young side this season. Marcus Rashford, Daniel James and Wan-Bissaka will all play large amounts this season, as will Sean Longstaff should his transfer from Newcastle United be completed. There will also be playing time for Mason Greenwood.
Meanwhile, the club’s previous leaders are being phased out: Antonio Valencia has left, while Ashley Young and Juan Mata will see playing time decrease. This will result in an inexperienced team, meaning the addition of a talented, experienced defender, would be a huge addition.
Harry Maguire is not a better defender than the £75 million Virgil van Dijk. However, the wealthy Leicester City have no reason to lower their demand. Maguire may not be the Premier League’s most talented defender, but he is exactly what Manchester United need. For that reason, he is worth the world record fee.