Following reports from last week claiming Tottenham centre-half Toby Alderweireld is not a top transfer target for Manchester United, you have to wonder where Jose Mourinho will look to do his defensive shopping this summer.
It’s clear the Red Devils need a new dynamic to their backline, preferably someone who can offer them greater quality in possession than Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Eric Bailly and help bring them a little closer to the scintillating football seen on the other side of Manchester.
Amid that backdrop, the physically imposing figure of Harry Maguire during his first World Cup appearance for England is difficult to ignore. It was by no means a perfect performance from the Leicester City defender, who was culpable for some dangerously sloppy passing out of the back in the first half, but nonetheless one that illustrated the qualities he offers the Red Devils and his commitment to that way of playing.
Even after early errors, Maguire still had the most touches of the ball of any England player, completed 88% of his passes and created three scoring chances. He may have been nervous, but that didn’t stop him from being brave with the ball – a key element of Gareth Southgate’s team compared to previous England incarnations.
Of course, Mourinho wants something more than simply a defensive playmaker – he wants a real leader and someone who can make an impact at both ends of the pitch, in a similar manner to John Terry. But Maguire showed against Tunisia how valuable he can be in that sense too, winning seven aerial duels including one inside the opposition penalty area that proved to be the assist for Kane’s stoppage time winner.
So, United fans, with a swoop for Alderweireld seeming far less likely than it once did, would you back a swoop for the £22.5million-rated Foxes centre-half instead? Let us know by voting below…
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