Harry Maguire joined Manchester United in July 2019 from Leicester City for a World Record fee believed to be £80 million, surpassing the fee Liverpool paid for Virgil van Dijk making Maguire the world’s most expensive defender of all time.
He was immediately made the captain by coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, following Ashley Young’s departure to Inter Milan in January 2020. Has Maguire been the inspirational captain the club needed?
Many elements of the fan base doubted Solskjaer’s decision to appoint him as the captain instead of the likes of David de Gea and Nemanja Matic who have been at the club for many years, especially de Gea as he was a Sir Alex Ferguson signing.
Many have even questioned Maguire’s credentials for being the captain. Before he signed for the Red Devils he had suffered four relegations in his career. He is yet to win a trophy in his playing career. A captain is supposed to be a player who commands respect from his fellow players, is very vocal, is near flawless in play and fights for the badge. Unfortunately, Maguire does not fit any of these pre-requisites.
It is evident he did not conduct himself well either after his arrest in Greece by the police on charges like assault, bribery and resisting arrest last year. Although he was given a suspended jail term, this did not reflect well on the club.
Furthermore, the former Hull City defender’s form with the Manchester club has been very inconsistent in relation to the astronomic transfer fee and wages paid. He has made many comedic mistakes and has been error-prone in defending especially in the 6-1 loss at home to Spurs last season and the recent 0-5 annihilation by their biggest rivals Liverpool again at Old Trafford a few days ago.
With serial winners like Cristiano Ronaldo & Raphael Varane and natural leaders like Bruno Fernandes & David de Gea already present at the club, it makes little sense for Maguire to be the Captain.
Arguably, this is not Maguire’s fault but Solskjaer’s, who has been under a lot of pressure following the Liverpool loss. It remains to be seen if the Norwegian stays and Maguire retains his captain’s armband under the next coach.