Harry Maguire – Manchester United
Harry Maguire is the player that the media, during a several consecutive transfer windows, linking to Manchester United. The torments with problems in defence are well known to any football fan. The problems existed during Mourinho‘s time at Old Trafford, and they continued after Solskjaer arrived. This summer, in all likelihood, there were significant moves towards the transfer. Namely, english and world media have said the matter is over – Harry Maguire is going at Old Trafford for €88m. Manchester United fans hope that spending such a sum of money will have the effect of at least similar to what Liverpool did. By signing Van Dijk, Liverpool solved the problems in defence and, consequently, won UEFA Champions League.
The competition in defence is huge but Harry Maguire was brought to be the new leader of that defence and he should be secure. Except him, there are six other central defenders: Eric Bailly, Victor Lindelöf, Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo and Timothy Fosu-Mensah. The only worry for Maguire will be who is going to be his partner in the defence.
Ever since the first season, Harry Maguire has mastered over Manchester United defence. During the whole season he missed only five games and have been one of the best players in Manchester United shirt. Excellent in defensive part (88% tackles success) but in building the attack as well (85% passes success). He brought that defence on the higher level.
After signing Maguire, Man United didn’t spend a cent during the rest of the season. At least on transfer fees. They signed two players on free transfer. Dani Alves and Claudio Marchisio are the new residents on Old Trafford. Brazilian, albeit with 35 years on the back, was the primary choice on the right back position and did very well. On the other side, Italian wasn’t first team choice but he still collected 32 appearances in all competitios. The biggest suprise was Nemanja Matić who finished the season with 19 assists. Not bad for defensive midfielder.
They finished the season without a trophy so we can say it was unsuccessful. But there was positive things as well. Fans of English football could have seen another really interesting season with high amount of points needed for the title (92). In that context, third place does not look so bad, and 85 points looks like a big step forward compared to last season. Second best defence (27 received goals) and 17 clean sheets are a strong proof of improvement. The biggest regret remains for defeat in the FA Cup final where Brighton was better after the penalty shoot-out. Within the European League, Chelsea was better in the quarterfinals.
Another brilliant season for Harry Maguire at Old Trafford. The same as the last season, he missed only five games, this time all five in Premier League. Maguire scored his first goal in Manchester United shirt, improved tackle success rate, but has worse average rating. But, the most important thing, the first trophies came.
Manchester United has again spent a large amount of money. Worth it. As the most expensive signing, they bought Paulo Dybala for €105m, the most expensive boost in the history of the club along with Paul Pogba. Argentinian wasn’t the only one. The leaders of the club from Old Trafford signed another four players: Mateo Kovačić (€85m), Marc Bartra (€39,5m), Abdoulaye Doucouré (€44,5m) and Riechedly Bazoer (€11m). From the outgoing transfers, it is worth pointing out Romelu Lukaku who joined Chelsea for the third time. Claudio Marchisio left to Crystal Palace.
Three of a total of five reinforcements found their place at the best 11 at the end of the season. It can be said that they justified the money invested. Maguire was of the central defenders once again, this time joined by Eric Bailly as his partner. Best player by average rating was Paulo Dybala, followed by Jesse Lingard and Juan Mata.
Harry Maguire – Champion of Europe
The second season in Premiership wasn’t successful. This time for the title was needed a smaller number of points (Arsenal won the title with 80 points), Manchester United finished on the fifth position with only 71 points. Solskjaer was on the verge of been sacked. But he stayed. Namely, after 12 years, Manchester United won the UEFA Champions League. They were in the group of death with Valencia, Napoli and Leipzig. In knockout phase they have beaten Monaco, Manchester City, Liverpool and Real Madrid. With no weak teams in his way, they won European title with style.
Harry Maguire is a constant through the all three years. He plays great and is the leader of the Manchester United defense. During this season, he played less amount of games primarily because of injury (Damaged Knee Cartilage) that left him off the pitch for 5 weeks.
To be able to stay at the top of Europe, Red Devils should have invest more money to strengthen the squad. There wasn’t big name signings, but they spent almost €150m. English wonderkid Ryan Sessegnon, after one season spent at Newcastle, came for €53m, Argentinian central defender Lisandro Martínez from Ajax for €21,5m, Swiss Ricardo Rodríguez from Milana for €34m, Aly Camara from Young Boysa for €12,5m, and the the end of transfer window they signed Brazilian striker Antony from Porto for €39m. Only two players left the club. Marcos Rojo signed for Stoke City and Sergio Romero for Norwich.
After one step forward last season, Manchester United now made two steps back. They improved compared with last season. Seven point more and one place better but it was enough only for fourth place. They had the best defense and the third attack in the league but something obviously didn’t work as they imagined. In UEFA Champions League Napoli was better in quarter final. As comforting reward, they won UEFA Supercup, FIFA Club World Cup and Carabao cup.
Conclusion: Harry Maguire passed the exam
Previous two simulations, Neymar & Griezmann u Barcelona i Napoli Rebuild, I called as failure, so for this one I have to say that it’s successful. At least from Harry Maguire’s point of view. With his arrival, the Englishman has strengthened Manchester United’s defense and raised that defence to a higher level.
In the introduction I mentioned Van Dijk and his influence on Liverpool’s defense. Maguire had almost the same influeance on United’s defence. Personally, I think Van Dijk is a much better player, but you can’t ignore what Maguire did for Manchester United in this simulation. At the end, this simulation is something outside reallity.
Maguire’s results? 1x UEFA Champions League, 1x UEFA Supercup, 1x FIFA Club World Cup and 1x Carabao Cup. He didn’t won Premiership but we can say that behind him are three successful years.
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