Manchester United have made Harry Maguire the most expensive defender in the history of the game and it remains to be seen if they made the right call.
Harry Maguire has become the most expensive defender in history after Manchester United paid Leicester City a record 88 million Euros. The transaction was a long time coming and it is clear that the Red Devils were desperate to add the England international to their squad.
Granted that the club had serious issues with defense, there are many who wonder why the club would pay so much for a player who just a few years ago was only playing in the Championship.
When compared to the move of Virgil van Dijk who is the second most expensive defender in the game, many believe that Maguire is nowhere near the level of the Dutchman. However, what the same critics forget so conveniently is that Van Dijk was also far away from the gazes of Premier League at one stage in his career.
Back in 2011 at the age of 20, Van Dijk was playing for Groningen in Netherlands. Later on, he made a move to Celtic without much fan fare before signing for Southampton.
In a similar fashion, Harry Maguire spent two years at Leicester City where he really grew into one of the most commanding defenders in the game. And while Leicester weren’t competing for top honors back then, the same can be said of Van Dijk’s spell at Southampton.
Such spells for necessary for both men as they helped them grow into the defenders they are today.
Now 26, Harry Maguire has a lot of room for development and is expected to come good for sure. In his two years with the Foxes, the English centre-back established himself as one of the best defenders around.
A move to a bigger club was just around the corner. And though his club did ensure that letting him go would add a lot of weight to the coffers, one cannot blame Manchester United for breaking the bank.
Apart from Victor Lindelof, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer doesn’t have a single defender who can be trusted in the long term. The likes of Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo and Eric Bailly are average at best.
The Swede needs someone alongside him who can be as assured in defense as he is. Maguire is a really strong defender and a modern age one for that. He is calm and composed when in possession of the ball and is a good passer as well.
The Norwegian tactician wants his players to play out from the back and that is something they can do perfectly with both Maguire and Lindelof very composed on the ball.
Gone were the days when you’d see a defender pump the ball further afield and hope for it to reach a teammate. United need sophistication in every department and with Maguire in their ranks, they now have a player who in the near future, would perhaps stop fans thinking about how good Rio Ferdinand was.