After multiple reports have claimed that Harry Maguire to Manchester United was all but official, opinions on the defender flowed in plenty.
In particular, the alleged sum of £85 million that United paid in order to acquire Maguire has been looked at critically. Many felt that the Red Devils were foolish to have succumbed to the pressure from Leicester City and pay the premium for the 26-year-old.
What seemed to catch most eyes is the fact that Maguire is now the most expensive defender in world-football, his alleged fee well surpassing the £75 million that Liverpool paid for Virgil Van Dijk in 2018.
Those with a sharp memory will recall that a similar reception was granted to the Van Dijk transfer while today most agree that the sum paid for the Dutchman was a bargain considering the sheer impact he has made at Anfield, reaching a euphoric high when he aided the side to Champions League glory last season.
Virgil van Dijk vs. Harry Maguire: Premier League 2018/19 pic.twitter.com/YoejM7MB0X
— BlameFootball (@blamefootball) August 2, 2019
Most comparisons of the two defenders will be opinionated. Let us instead have a look at the stats of the two centre-backs in the Premier League from last campaign.
Purely in terms of tackles won, Van Dijk has the upper edge with his respectable success rate of 74% while Maguire managed only 55%. Similarly, even in interceptions, the Dutchman has an edge, but only a slight one, with his 40 met by Maguire’s 37.
In recoveries, however, Maguire takes the cheese with his 195 figure slightly ahead of Van Dijk’s 193. The Englishman has also lost fewer duels than Van Dijk as his figure of 68 is respectable compared to the Liverpool defender’s 78. Both centre-backs made a single error that directly led to a goal last season.
Furthermore, the two defenders are quite comparable with regard to their tendency for long balls, at 203 and 191 respectively.
The place where Maguire also edges out is in dribbles attempted, at 21 to Van Dijk’s 12.
These stats and many others clearly point that the two defenders are quite comparable to each other and that their pricetags ought not to be seen a measure of their on-field brilliance.