Harry Maguire: How World’s most expensive defender lost his way at Manchester United

By Sterling Brown 3 Min Read

In 2019, Manchester United shattered records by splurging a staggering £80m to acquire the services of Harry Maguire, catapulting him to the coveted title of the world’s most expensive defender. one of the big attractions was his ability to lead.

Shortly after joining the ranks of Old Trafford, Maguire exhibited his leadership prowess by donning the captain’s armband a mere three months into his tenure, a remarkable feat.

Following Ashley Young’s departure to Inter Milan, Maguire’s elevation to the permanent captaincy seemed inevitable, cementing his status as a pillar of the team.

However, The Manchester defender has recently been relieved of his captaincy duties. Within the United ranks, he now finds himself occupying the role of Erik ten Hag’s fifth-choice central defender, lagging behind the likes of Raphael Varane, Lisandro Martinez, Victor Lindelof, and even Luke Shaw. The implications of this shift in the pecking order cannot be ignored.

Harry Maguire stripped of Manchester United captaincy
Harry Maguire

As the upcoming Euro 2024 looms on the horizon, England’s manager Gareth Southgate has delivered a stern message to Maguire, emphasizing the need for consistent playing time if he desires to secure his spot in the national squad.

Sources close to Maguire have been steadfast in their claims that his desire is to remain at United. However, the question arises: to what end does he strive to stay?

Interestingly, other clubs, including the likes of West Ham, have expressed interest in acquiring Maguire’s services. This prompts us to contemplate whether the current juncture presents an opportune moment for him to explore new horizons and embark on a fresh chapter of his career.

Rewinding to the summer of 2019, when the £80m transfer fee was sanctioned, Manchester United showcased their willingness to invest heavily in Maguire, positioning him as the second most expensive signing in English club history, trailing only the enigmatic Paul Pogba.

Former manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer extolled Maguire’s abilities to read the game astutely, exude a commanding presence, and maintain composure in high-pressure situations.

These qualities were widely recognized as essential attributes that United desperately needed, especially in the aftermath of the tumultuous final months of Jose Mourinho’s reign and Solskjaer’s ongoing struggle to restore the club’s former glory by clinching a coveted Champions League spot.

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