Speaking on Sky Sports after Tottenham’s 3-1 win over Aston Villa, former Spurs star Rafael van der Vaart expressed his disbelief at Harry Maguire’s price tag, and also had some harsh words saved for the centre-back regarding his Nations League performance against the Netherlands.
The England international has since made his debut for the Red Devils, where he earned the Man of the Match award for his commanding performance in a 4-0 win over Chelsea.
The former Real Madrid man said: “It’s funny. We were in the Nations League, Holland vs England. I was working for Dutch TV and Harry Maguire was the worst player on the pitch.
“And then two months later, £80-£90m? Unbelievable.”
The Dutchman certainly didn’t mince his words regarding what he thought of Maguire, but he should’ve waited until the Englishman had at least made his debut for the Red Devils.
One bad game doesn’t determine the player that Maguire is and the match in question that van der Vaart referenced involved an evidently poorer performer.
This was the game where John Stones was at fault for Quincy Promes’ goal in extra-time which handed the lead to the Dutch, before another risky ball from the Manchester City man put Ross Barkley under pressure and saw Ronald Koeman’s side go 3-1 up.
Regardless, Maguire made the former Tottenham No.11 eat his words with a heroic display against Chelsea at Old Trafford on Sunday, earning the Man of the Match award from Sky Sports as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side romped to a 4-0 win.
The former Sheffield United centre-back won four aerial duels, made a huge seven clearances and also blocked two shots as he was instrumental in United keeping a clean sheet.
Van der Vaart was harsh to judge Maguire on one game where he wasn’t even notably bad, and his stellar debut alone has already silenced the former Spurs star’s criticisms. While it’s still very early days, Maguire looked every bit worth that price-tag against Chelsea.