Player Analysis: Leicester City Defender Harry Maguire

Player Analysis: Leicester City Defender Harry Maguire  -
9th June 2019, Stádio D Afonso Henriques, Porto, Portugal; UEFA Nations League Football 3rd placed final, England versus Switzerland; Harry Maguire of ENG plays the ball long upfield (photo by Nikola Krstic/Action Plus via Getty Images)

Harry Maguire has become the subject of interest from both Manchester City and Manchester United, according to Sky Sports. The 26-year-old is reportedly valued at £80 million by his club, Leicester City, and he would become the most expensive defender in history if one of his suitors agreed to this fee.

Analysing Harry Maguire

Where Does Harry Maguire Fit at United?

Maguire would come to United as their main centre-back. He is experienced enough to be the leader but has enough years left to become a worthwhile investment. This experience would be beneficial for the development of Victor Lindelof. The Swedish international needs a more stable partner than the likes of Phil Jones and Chris Smalling.

This is why a pricey transfer fee may still be more desirable than the £25 million buy-out clause for Toby Alderweireld. The Tottenham defender has been linked with a move to Old Trafford but there are several reasons why activating that ridiculously cheap clause may not be of benefit to them.

The Belgian international is 30-years-old and wouldn’t be able to fit the bill as a long-term option. His motivation in leaving Spurs for United could also be questioned. His team have just competed in a Champions League final while United couldn’t be any further from that pedestal. The only benefit to him joining would be financial. United need to get off this road of being a financial haven for footballers. Maguire would be moving for the right reasons.

He’s never played for a club of United’s heritage and one would expect a humbleness at wearing the red shirt. It’s important that the club give their new signings a sensible wage. United’s current wage structure is a mess. When Alexis Sanchez earns almost £500,000 a week, including add-ons, it gives every player and agent that negotiates with United a stick to beat them with. It’s not healthy for players to be thinking that they’ve already made it before they’ve kicked a ball, or that they should be earning more than X, Y and Z. It makes football on the pitch a secondary priority.

Where Does Harry Maguire Fit at City?

With contrast to their Manchester neighbours, City have a much more sensible transfer policy. The players they acquire are often on sensible pay packets that inform the players that they haven’t made it big just yet. Although, their record transfer-fee stands at a mere £60 million which is quite startling considering the abuse they receive for ‘excessive’ spending. A swoop for Maguire would go against that efficiency. Nonetheless, it’s still a move that would tick a lot of boxes for the champions.

Maguire would revel in competition with his countryman John Stones. Stones does receive criticism for his errors at the back but he is, on the whole, a very capable centre-back. He is a very quick accelerator and is able to confidently distribute the ball. On the other hand, Maguire can often look a little sluggish over short distances but he excels in other areas. When he gets into his stride, Maguire really can move with pace and power; these attributes make him an effective tool for breaking between the lines. His distribution is also on par with Stones.

Pep Guardiola would no doubt be excited by the physical presence that Maguire brings. The departing Vincent Kompany was always an aggressive competitor and Maguire would share some of those battling characteristics. There has always been a concern that Stones lacks a combative edge to his game.

Primarily, Maguire has played as a left-centre-back, despite being right footed. While that gives City an alternative to Aymeric Laporte for that position, it would be expected for Maguire to play the majority of his games on the right because Laporte is City’s best central defender by some margin.

Good Move For Both

The inflated price comes from the fact he is English and he is a product of the Premier League. City would see this move as a way to improve their homegrown quota but it’s also quite clear why Guardiola would want him anyway. United would see Maguire as a potential poster-boy for their defence and he also fits the supposed remit of signing English talent.