Harry Maguire: Is Man Utd defender justifying Solskjaer’s faith?

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By Simon Stone
BBC Sport in Old Trafford
In the second minute of injury time of Manchester United’s 1-0 win over Leicester in Old Trafford, the visitors were awarded a free-kick within their own half.
It was taken by kasper Schmeichel. As a home audience held its breath, then the Foxes keeper punted the ball deep into the edge of the home box where there waited the dozen players to struggle. Harry Maguire leant over Jonny Evans, jumped and got his mind to it. The next chunk was cleared by united. Leicester never got into their half.
The header of maguire wasn’t a thing of beauty. It wasn’t even near being his best moment of the match. However, on a day a draw could have left them at the bottom half of this table and after United’s year was on the border, it was enormously significant.
And it allowed their 80m summer signing the last laugh within the Leicester fans who had been adore him now sing about not needing him.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer left Maguire later viewing the Yorkshireman play his United team at the King Power Stadium in 26, his number one transfer target.
The Norwegian identified his understanding of the game along with his leadership, Maguire’s composure . He also considers that the former Sheffield United and Hull guy is a goal danger, which he was against Leicester.
For getting those attributes the fee was too much for Manchester City, whose director Pep Guardiola is an enthusiast. It ended up eclipsing the #75m Liverpool compensated Southampton to get Virgil van Dijk, turning Maguire to the defender of time.
The deal occurred brendan Rodgers understood. The Foxes boss accepts the attraction of the leading clubs of England. It is fair to assume his players perform given the warmth with. As the pair made their way out on the pitch evans chatted away.
The concluded stance is not one shared with the supporters of Leicester. When it was read out over the tannoy only under one hour Maguire’s title was booed by them. Then, since the game began, they turned on the England defender, using an expletive-riddled song that informed him he was no longer welcome in the King Power Stadium.
«That’s what happens is not it?» said Rodgers. «The Leicester coaches, players and supporters, in the primary, really admire Harry for the great work he did in Leicester. The move was made by him. It was great for Leicester and he gets the opportunity to live his dream.»
During the summer of 2018, Jose Mourinho wanted to buy Maguire however United’s officials baulked at the # 70m asking price of Leicester. Presumably, Solskjaer reinforced the concept, which explains the reason why they paid 12 weeks.
You do not have to watch Maguire for long — nor’ve noticed United that much over the past couple of years — to understand why his improvement is overwhelmingly positive.
When he identified a missed header at the build-up to a David de Gea rescue from James Maddison, maguire isn’t ideal, as Solskjaer pointed out afterwards. However he exudes confidence, is seldom flustered and covers the earth.
At one stage around the hour mark, Demarai Gray acquired the rear of Ashley Young round and appeared to possess the whole of the United half in front of him. In a flash, Maguire had spotted the danger, cruising to his left to initially halt Gray with a well-timed block tackle, then regaining his equilibrium fast enough to reach the loose ball , nudge his opponent from the way then stride forward with it in his feet.
Again, it seemed innocuous. But if Maguire hadn’t intervened, Gray could have sped on to threaten the home goal.
The way it is impossible to not think at some stage in the future he’ll wear the captain’s armband as another central defender, Nemanja Vidic, employed to do.
«Harry is a leader, on and off the pitch,» explained Solskjaer. «He sticks his mind . He slowed down everything and put his foot on it , when we fought to maintain the ball.
«Against a striker such as Jamie Vardy, then you have to be put on with your decision; once to step up, when to drop back. He also demonstrated his value today.»
Prior to a match many called Leicester would win — doing so would have taken them six points clear of the opponents in the early race for the European spots — it was said United would’ve been far better off maintaining Evans, that Louis van Gaal offered to West Brom for #6m at 2015, compared to finishing up with Maguire for more than 10 times compared to amount.
The debate is moot. To begin with, Evans is five years older. United have given Maguire in case it runs its own course, a contract that extends to 2026 and also the option for an additional season is triggered.
He is a guardian. Maguire took ownership under stress from Daniel James, wrapped the ball below his foot, and then passed it. James was totally flummoxed.
In the plan Solskjaer revealed to United’s expectancy when he met them concerning replacing Mourinho December, it was crucial to have a presence like Maguire’s at its center.
England boss Gareth Southgate has likely reached the same conclusion.
Maybe not that Maguire will probably soon be allowing that — or anything else for that thing — go to his head.
«It was essential to get the win,» he said.
«We must build on a solid foundation and we wish to keep clean sheets. We might have kept the ball better but we defended well.»
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