This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…
Speaking to the club’s official website, Manchester United duo Diogo Dalot and Lee Grant have hailed the influence Harry Maguire is already having at the club.
Maguire joined the Red Devils in the summer for a world-record fee for a defender, and enjoyed an impressive debut for the side by helping the team register a 4-0 win over rivals Chelsea.
Whilst recent results haven’t gone United’s way, both Dalot and Grant have showered praise on their new teammate for the role he has played since arriving.
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Grant said: “Harry has definitely slotted straight in, in terms of the social side and in terms of his mentality and attitude, which has been first class. The most important thing, though, is his quality and he was able to show that against Chelsea.”
Dalot added: “We have a few young lads here, including myself, so to have that kind of experience in the dressing room is good. And of course, his natural leadership will be very good for the club. I think he’s already shown everyone on the pitch that he’s ready for this club.”
For a side that conceded 54 goals in the Premier League last season – the worst record in the top six – Maguire’s arrival was painfully needed. The 6 foot 4 star’s presence radiates a sense of calmness through his defence, and it naturally helps bring the best out of his fellow teammates.
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The performance at home against Chelsea in the opening Premier League game of the season showed the kind of partnership he and Victor Lindelof could enjoy. But, disappointing displays from the side against both Wolves and Crystal Palace have slightly tempered expectations about the influence Maguire is having.
However, with it being so early on in the season, you simply have to give the 26-year-old time to adjust on the pitch and make connections. Off-the-pitch however, Maguire’s “natural leadership” could be the key in transforming United’s defensive fortunes over the long-term.