Steve McClaren has told Sky Sports News (10.15, Wednesday) that Manchester United defender Harry Maguire can have a similar impact to Virgil van Dijk’s influence at Liverpool, following the England star’s move from Leicester.
Maguire, 26, became the world’s most expensive defender after a superb 12 months that saw the colossal centre-back star for England at the World Cup – before excelling at Leicester City during 2018-19.
It saw United splash the cash on Maguire, despite already boasting six centre-backs in Eric Bailly, Victor Lindelof, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Axel Tuanzebe and Marcos Rojo. Maguire starred on his debut – a 4-0 win over Chelsea.
Former England manager McClaren, who also worked at United as an assistant under Sir Alex Ferguson, reckons Maguire’s move to Old Trafford can match the impact that van Dijk made when he joined Liverpool.
TBR’s view – Maguire excellent, but he is not on Van Dijk’s level
Maguire is certainly an excellent player. He topped the charts for aerial duels last season, and is renowned for his ability to bring the ball out of defence and supply attacking midfielders with ammo to drive forward.
Indeed, Maguire has the capability to sure up the United defence, and help Solskjaer’s side go from top six to top four. But to say he can match van Dijk is a big claim.
Van Dijk has taken a very leaky Liverpool defence and turned it into one that conceded just 22 goals last season. United conceded more than double last term, with 54 goals against them. Maguire will help, but not like van Dijk.