Maguire’s Sweden display proved he is a Champions League standard centre-half

World Cups used to be the place for players who were not so widely recognised to emerge as stars, but the globalisation of football looked to have made that a thing of the past.

With more and more access to players, highlights and stats than ever before, it should not be possible for someone to come through and surprise observers with their level, much less if they play in the Premier League.

Yet, that is exactly what Harry Maguire is doing at this World Cup. Before Russia, many would have described the Leicester man as a solid top flight centre-half, but little more.

Now, as Gareth Southgate inspires him to stride out of defence with ease as well as creating set-piece situations where he can cause havoc, Maguire looks every inch a Champions League defender, someone that Tottenham should be chasing to replace Toby Alderweireld.


Not many defenders out in Russia have combined the ugly and glamorous side of the game as well as the Englishman, who got the goal his performances have deserved with the opener against Sweden.

Mauricio Pochettino has a reputation for working wonders with young English players and has used a back three in the past, both of which must be promising signs where Maguire is concerned.