Man United Opinion: Red Devils should ditch Skriniar in faovur of Harry Maguire
According to the Daily Mail, Man United manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has urged the Red Devils to revisit their interest in Leicester City and England centre-back Harry Maguire and launch a fresh £65million bid in the summer.
Maguire was courted heavily by Man United last summer, with former manager Jose Mourinho making the 26-year-old a priority following his impressive performances for England at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Maguire, though, stayed put at Leicester and poured cold water on United’s pursuit by signing a new deal. (h/t Daily Mail)
United have been linked with plenty of top-quality centre-backs since last summer and Milan Skriniar’s name have often come up as a potential target. The Express claims that United have tabled a £73 million bid to land the Inter Milan man in the summer, with Barcelona also expressing an interest.
The Red Devils have looked a lot more secure at the back since Solskjaer’s arrival, with the Norwegian’s attacking style relieving the pressure on the defenders.
The likes of Victor Lindelof and Chris Smalling have helped the club achieve a better defensive record in recent months but United still need an overhaul of their options at the back in the summer.
Eric Bailly and Marcos Rojo are likely to head for the exit door, with the club weighing up moves for some world-class centre-backs.
To put things into perspective, United need to look no further beyond Leicester’s Harry Maguire in a bid to solve their defensive woes.
Granted, Milan Skriniar and Koulibaly are amongst the best in Europe but a homegrown talent in English football like Maguire can be the perfect man to answer their prayers.
To justify the statement, let us look at some of Maguire’s strengths and Skriniar’s weaknesses. Standing at 6ft. 4 inches with a towering and sinewy frame, Maguire is a tailor-made centre-back for the Premier League with his physicality.
He plays with great confidence and tends to bully the opposition with his massive 100kg frame, often using his strength in tight situations to hold off the attackers.
The 26-year-old is an absolute beast of a defender who also stamps his authority inside the box with his aerial ability, averaging an impressive 3.8 aerial duels in the Premier League this term.
Maguire has a lot more to his game than just strength and aerial ability, with his good game reading ability and awareness making him a more complete centre-back.
Known for his ball-playing qualities as a defender, the Englishman boasts of a pass accuracy percentage of 84.5, including 6.6 successful long passes per game. Despite being tall and well-built, Maguire is really fast and agile for a defender of his stature, which is another notable factor in his game.
Skriniar, on the other hand, might just edge out Maguire in terms of positioning and composure but his lack of agility and poor recovery pace certainly casts a doubt over his chances of thriving in the Premier League. He is an extremely slow player who struggles to deal with fast and agile attackers.
Just like Maguire, the Slovenian is also a tall and strong centre-back with good well-rounded attributes and superb ball-playing abilities but the Englishman has a better chance of making an immediate impact at Old Trafford, owing to his familiarity with English football.
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Maguire may not have Champions League experience under his belt up he is arguably the best centre-back in England at the moment.
A great athlete with high levels of commitment, Maguire has just entered his prime as a centre-back and Man United can certainly look at him as a long-term solution to their problems at the heart of the defence.
Furthermore, his price tag shouldn’t be a massive headache for a club of United’s stature. That said, they should forget about all their other defensive targets and invest in the homegrown talent.