Somehow, the final verdict on Harry Maguire appears to still be divided. The former Leicester City centre-back is the most expensive defender in club football and has made his strong mark on Manchester United.
Donning the club’s captain armband, the 27–year-old has been instrumental in transforming the defensive ethos of the Red Devils. When paired alongside Victor Lindelof, Maguire has provided manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with the perfect defensive duo to finally cement a consistent presence at the back.
However, his overall impact is a more versatile one and the following statistic perhaps outlines it best.
Harry Maguire has created 14 chances in the Premier League this season, no central defender has created more.
Influential in both boxes. 👏 pic.twitter.com/hpFC1hw1l0
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) April 25, 2020
Such a feat also makes the sizable transfer fee paid for the Englishman appear relatively understandable.
Apart from his inspiring runs from the back, ‘Slabhead’ is also remarkably impactful during set pieces. The sheer physicality and the knack for headed goals has added a new dimension to the club’s goal scoring threat.
The fact that his creative ability is unmatched by any other central defender in the Premier League further highlights just how big of a difference his signing has been.
Speaking earlier about the season, Maguire remarked: “Obviously, we had some difficult times at the start of the season, where results didn’t go our way, and you know when you play for a club like Manchester United that the pressure comes down on you, but we know we’re on the right track. We’ve always felt that we’re on the right track.”
He then went on to firmly assert: “We don’t want to be challenging for this Champions League spot, we want to be challenging for titles.”
The criticism was strong early on but slowly it appears that he has settled exceptionally well into his role at Old Trafford.
Now it remains to be seen whether or not this caliber of performance on both ends can be matched consistently when regular football resumes.