Manchester United head into their Premier League clash against Burnley with an undisputed first-choice defender firmly back in the ranks.
Having been suspended for the Red Devils’ recent UEFA Europa League success against Granada, Harry Maguire is eligible to return as United host the Clarets, in what will be a huge boost to the team and, of course, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Since his record-breaking move from Leicester City in 2019, Maguire has become one of the club’s most consistent defenders.
The £36m-rated centre-back has made 102 appearances for United, keeping 44 clean sheets in all competitions. Now the club’s firm choice as captain, too, his performances have been amongst the highest at Old Trafford and the statistics support that.
Of the current crop at the club, Maguire completes more interceptions per game than any other player with 1.9, whilst also racking up a huge 3.7 clearances per match in all competitions, according to WhoScored, once again the highest in the entire United squad.
Meanwhile, only fellow central defender Eric Bailly has more blocks to his name per game this season than Maguire’s 0.6.
Whilst the 28-year-old has in some quarters earned criticism for some erratic displays on occasion, there is no doubt that he has an influence on the team.
Meanwhile, in the preceding season before his arrival at Old Trafford, United had conceded 1.4 goals per game in the league – a huge rise.
Whilst that impact cannot simply be put firmly on the shoulders of Maguire, with Aaron Wan-Bissaka having also arrived in the off-season following the 2018/19 campaign, it would be naïve to suggest that he has not played a big role in that improvement.
Having labelled his captain as “top” on numerous occasions, Solskjaer will surely be delighted to have a player of Maguire’s quality back in contention following his suspension.