Harry Maguire Showing Leadership Qualities For Manchester United5 min read
It has been a difficult season for all Manchester United players with the tumultuous performances and results that have appeared so far.
Harry Maguire, after joining from Leicester City last summer for £80 million, was tipped to find a solution to the Red Devils’ defence, but it has not been as plain sailing as once imagined.
Maguire grew into a household name after the 2018 World Cup with England. Nicknamed ‘Slabhead’ by ex-teammate Jamie Vardy, Maguire rose to prominence with the use of his head for the Three Lions from set-pieces. Scoring a few and assisting some more, England’s tactic was plain and simple: put the ball in the air for Maguire to head.
There was talk of Maguire moving to pastures new after the World Cup, which is something that the central defender was open to, but he remained for a further season, being managed by both Claude Puel and Brendan Rodgers.
It was not until towards the end of the summer 2019 transfer window where Maguire’s luck finally fell and a deal was agreed between Manchester United and the Foxes. Given the transfer fee paid, the expectation was sky-high for the England international to help turn the club’s fortunes around.
And it would be fair to say that Maguire has had a fairly gradual start to life at Old Trafford. While no performance has been incredibly sub-standard, likewise no performance has been absolutely world-class. It would be unfair to measure Maguire’s performance six months in against his transfer fee, primarily because the market for British players has gone beyond what is widely considered fair value.
Maguire has played every minute available in the Premier League and, for the most part, looked solid in commanding an ever-changing defence around him. With the departure of Ashley Young not only to begin with from the side, but now also from the club, Maguire has been the stand-in captain since late October of last year.
Now confirmed as club captain, Maguire has the extra responsibility upon his shoulders to take the Red Devils up the table once more and compete for major honours. With the way he has conducted himself on the pitch in his vocal presence, it is no surprise that Ole Gunnar Solskjær has appointed the Three Lions international his on-field lieutenant.
In his most recent performance against Manchester City in the second-leg of the EFL Cup, there was a super interception and tackle made by Maguire on Raheem Sterling.
As the Citizen winger was through on goal and opening up his body to shoot from the left-hand side of the box, Maguire sticks out his leg and flicks his toe on the ball, adding just enough pressure to divert the attack and allow United to regain composure.
It is obvious to see how much it means to Maguire to play for Manchester United and have the captain’s armband around his jersey. As the team becomes more settled and important players return from injury, Maguire’s performances will begin to excel and show exactly why the Red Devils have invested so much into him.