Harry Maguire has been an ever present since football restarted, and he does not appear to be in for a rest any time soon.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer told the club website he is confident about Maguire’s fitness, heading into tonight’s fixture with Brighton.
He said: “I think his performances on the pitch say it all. He’s become club captain, he’s a leader and he’s chipping in with goals, so I’m very happy with Harry.
“He’s a big lad and he gets better and better the more he plays. I think we’ll see him improving more and more the games he plays. He’ll get his sharpness from games.”
Maguire has been an ever present in the Premier League for United, making 31 starts since signing in August.
He has made 44 appearances in all competitions, and at the weekend he scored his third goal for the club, a memorable FA Cup quarter-final winner in the 118th minute.
Durability a key asset
As United have found out with Eric Bailly through the years, talent alone is not enough to make a top centre-back. Durability is a factor.
Maguire is proving he is reliable, and United can depend on him. That is a valuable commodity, and one of the reasons the club felt confident spending £80 million on him.
Solskjaer’s comments about him getting better as he plays more have credence too. Before the lockdown he was in outstanding form, as his confidence grew and he got into a rhythm.
It was perhaps no coincidence that his rare error against Tottenham came 25 minutes into his first match back after three months. Since then, including the duration of the rest of that game, he has been solid and is getting back to his pre-lockdown form.
Solskjaer added when asked about Maguire’s ability to score goals: “I said it when we played Leicester last season it’s like he has a magnet on his head with the ball and we’re now getting used to him and his movement, with Bruno coming up with some good deliveries. And we know when Harry is in there then anything can happen.”
Maguire will wear the armband against Brighton tonight as United look to get an important win and put pressure on Chelsea and Leicester.
The only debate is who will partner him, Victor Lindelof or Eric Bailly. It will most probably be the Swede, but the Ivorian defender has done little wrong since he returned to fitness, and he is building a growing case for a run in the side alongside Maguire.
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