Manchester United are currently in the United States, preparing for another tough season. Friendlies against Liga MX and MLS clubs are on the cards, before the International Champions Cup. During that time, across the pond, the board are preparing new summer signings. There are reports of Alex Sandro being a “done deal”, if Duncan Castles is anything to go by. There is also talk of Man United going for Chelsea’s Willian, as the club continue their quest for a proper right winger.
However, an interesting story is also the one about Harry Maguire. The latest reports are that Manchester United are ready to pay 65 million pounds. Should Manchester United go for him this summer?
Harry Maguire played every minute of the previous Premier League campaign. He was instrumental for everything that Leicester City did during 2016-17 season and he grew in confidence as the time was passing. Maguire is an unusual type of defender these days. By his size and build, he looks like an old-school English centre-back, one who is physically strong and likes for his opponents to feel that side of him. Yet, Maguire is also a technically very sound player. He proved that last season with his composed passing ability, showing variations. He is able to hit long balls, start attacks of his team from the back line and also break through opposition’s lines, trying to find teammates in good positions.
At 194 centimeters and almost 100 kilograms, Maguire is unusually good with the ball. His season at Leicester was so good that Gareth Southgate made him an important part of the England’s World Cup squad. At the beginning of 2018, not many people really believed that Maguire could already become a starter in Southgate’s 3-4-2-1 formation, but Maguire grew in confidence and played with swagger in England’s shirt. He never looked out of place during the tournament Russia, giving a feeling like it was not his first big tournament.
Also, aside from Maguire’s footballing qualities that we were able to see, he is also English. That helps clubs with domestic quotas, especially for a club like Manchester United, playing European football. At 25, Maguire could still massively improve, as centre-backs usually reach their peak between 29 and 32 years of age.
Maguire signed for Leicester in summer of 2017, joining them from a relegated Hull City side. This means he had played only one good season in the Premier League so far. There is a potential to be seen in him, but there is always a risk that his good performances made everyone believe he is made for big things. A great World Cup is something that should be taken into consideration, but also a great World Cup is just a run of six or seven matches in a short time span, so would not always have to mean too much. Of course, that might not be the case with him.
Also, there is the price tag expected to be at least 60 million pounds, which could be steep for a centre-back with only one really good season. However, Manchester United are definitely able to cough up that money.
If Manchester United are not able to get a really good, proven centre-back, either from Premier League or some other country, then Maguire would be a good option. He is an obvious upgrade on Jones and Smalling and could be a starter right away. He can still improve a lot and United need solutions. If he turns to be a player for long-term, then United will be saying they did a good job signing him now.