Harry Maguire’s imminent move from Leicester to Manchester United is expected to be announced today.
And early on, United have a huge decision to make over the new centre-back.
United have to decide whether to throw Maguire straight into the starting line-up next weekend against Chelsea.
Here is a look at the pros and cons of the decision facing Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
No, too soon
Let’s start with the negatives and get them out of the way. Namely that Maguire has missed United’s pre-season.
This leaves Maguire having had no time to forge a relationship with Victor Lindelöf at the back and for the pair to adjust together.
United’s first match is against Chelsea, a tough opponent, and just a small miscommunication could make a difference.
There are also fitness issues to adhere to. Is Maguire as prepared as his teammates, or off the pace?
A cautious move would be to leave Maguire on the bench for the opener.
Yes, start him
The obvious counter is, ‘why spend £80 million on a player to leave him on the bench?’
No centre-back has truly stood out this pre-season for United despite an overall very good defensive record.
Maguire does not need to adjust to the Premier League, nor to playing against Chelsea. He knows what he is doing.
Whoever is picked to start ahead of Maguire could feel under more pressure, with the new signing on the bench.
If leaving Maguire out against Chelsea, the next game away to Wolves is even tougher. Letting him sit out two matches would be foolish.
United should just throw him straight in and back the choice to spend £80 million on a game changer.
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