Harry Maguire Played Like A ‘Midfielder’ Against Southampton

Manchester United's Harry Maguire and Paul Pogba celebrate at the end of the match.

REUTERS/Phil Noble

A 9-0 scoreline may indicate the exceptional attacking performance of the winning side. While this is certainly true for Manchester United’s battering of Southampton on Tuesday, the fact of the matter is that the entire result was a team effort.

The full-backs contributed to many of the goals, in creation as well as in scoring while the midfield bossed the creative ability too. Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, and Edinson Cavani may have 4 goals between them, but the efforts of the backline cannot be ignored.

In particular, the manner in which Harry Maguire played on the night has earned the praise of many fans.

To put it bluntly, Harry Maguire functioned more like a midfielder against Southampton. The Englishman’s ability on the ball has always been of some excellence, with his forward-lingering nature being one of the reasons why United must have purchased him.

However, on Tuesday night it was a connective masterclass from Maguire who was great in his creative ability as well as passing. With regard to the latter, the club-captain actually made more than half of his passes inside the final third which is far from the norm for a centre-back.

In fact, many of the fans did comment that Maguire played better as an apparent midfielder than some of his performances at the back. Such a view would come as a critique of his mistakes and errors while in defensive roles in the recent past.

Nonetheless, Ole Gunnar Solskjær and company ought to build-up on this ability of the 27-year-old. In particular, the overall attacking ethos that seems to be the most aggressive technique for the Red Devils could realistically see a recurrent source of exciting goals.

At the end of the day, however, there is still a lot of consistent effort he needs to put in to ensure more cleansheets more often.