No player is held to a higher standard at Manchester United than Harry Maguire.
It split opinion when United spent £80 million to buy him in 2019, with some feeling there were better defenders out there for a cheaper price, which could have allowed a more even investment in other areas of the squad.
To this day his price tag and that decision is still held against him, and it stops people appreciating him for the defender he is.
Maguire didn’t ask for a record fee, or for United’s funds to be apportioned in the way they were. He has however come in and improved the team’s defence and been a near ever-present.
The England international played a key role as United shut West Ham out at Old Trafford on Sunday evening.
United have now kept four clean sheets in the Premier League in succession, with Maguire playing every one.
Maguire’s durability is among his top attributes. He was making his 96th Red Devils appearance last night. To be there already is quite remarkable. Injury-hit Eric Bailly only made his 100th last week.
Against West Ham, Maguire made seven clearances. The rest of the United defence made five combined.
Maguire blocked one shot, won one tackle and made one interception, while not conceding a single foul.
He won five aerial duels, the same number as the rest of the United team did combined.
Any mistakes Maguire makes end up getting seized upon by detractors who can’t let go of his price tag. That comes with the territory. But when he puts in a series of strong performances like he has lately, there should be more praise than he is currently getting.
After conceding 11 goals in our three opening games of the season, United have allowed just 21 in 26 games. That’s a big improvement and Maguire has played a key part in making up for a freakishly bad start.
United supporters appreciated Maguire’s efforts, and lauded the centre-back’s contribution against the Hammers…
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