Manchester United have signed Harry Maguire and that is a good thing!
Forget the money they paid for him, forget that he’s now the “most expensive defender,” and definitely forget to have the debate about whether he’s worth the money or not.
None of that matters. It’s not my money, it’s not your money. The club can afford spending £80 million on a defender so therefore none of that matters. Prices are always going to go up, that’s how markets and inflation works. Now that teams are realizing how valuable defenders are Virgil van Dijk’s £75 million record was never going to stand for long.
At the end of the day Maguire makes United better and therefore he’s worth the price they paid (again, because they can afford it and it’s not my or your money).
Maguire ticks a lot of boxes for United. For one, he’s a good defender. He’s also a ball playing defender, which is something the club vastly needed. He’s also really good on set pieces which is a very valuable attribute and makes the club a lot more dangerous going forward.
Maguire has his detractors mostly because he’s got a massive forehead which makes him a bit funny looking and because people love to yell that British players are overrated.
The reality is he’s a very good defender who proved his worth at the World Cup last summer, and then proved it was no fluke with his performance over the whole of last season.
At 26 years old he’s a bit of a late bloomer, which isn’t a problem for a central defender. Virgil van Dijk was the same age when he went to Liverpool and didn’t make his international debut until he was 22.
Maguire makes United better but doesn’t solve all their issues. He’ll slot in next to Victor Lindelof as a first choice center back but who becomes third choice is equally important. Hopefully that’s Axel Tuanzebe, if it’s not that could be problematic.
Additionally while Maguire provides an upgrade in an area that massively needed one, it’s not the be all end all for United’s defense. They still need a midfielder who will screen the back four. If they don’t have one, it doesn’t matter who they have back there, they’ll still be leaking goals.
Hopefully Scott McTominay can be that guy, but that doesn’t change the fact that they still lack a ball winner in midfield now that Ander Herrera left. Hopefully they address that this week (Bruno Fernandes is not that guy, Sean Longstaff might be), otherwise we have to hope that Fred becomes that guy.
While there haven’t been as many arrivals or departures from Old Trafford as fans would have liked this summer, Maguire is another box checked off in what has been a successful summer. Each signing so far has addressed a need in the team that not only improves the team now, but has a solid look for the future.
While it would be disappointing if United don’t make any more signings before the window closes on Thursday, the addition of Maguire makes them firm favorites to finish in the top four and return to the Champions League next season.
^I’ll have more on that later in the week.