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Profit Players: Harry Maguire

Profit Players: Harry Maguire

Leicester City supporters have been in fine voice in recent times after seeing their team get back to winning ways in the Premier League on New Year’s Day.

Claude Puel’s men went into their encounter with Everton at Goodison Park off the back of a surprise 1-0 home defeat at the hands of Cardiff City over the weekend, and thus seeking to bounce back with all three points against Marco Silva’s stuttering Toffees. And the Foxes managed to do just that as a Jamie Vardy strike just before the hour mark sealed a narrow 1-0 success for the Midlanders on Tuesday, in turn moving them up to seventh place in the Premier League table.

As such, there have been many thrilled Leicester fans up and down the country in recent times, several of whom are hoping for even more from their team in the second half of the season following their club’s impressive recruitment during the summer.

In fact, the Foxes were praised widely for the business they conducted during the close season, although there were plenty more raised eyebrows back in the summer of 2017 when they spent £12.33 million (as per Transfermarkt) on defender Harry Maguire to lure him away from Hull City.

It was former boss Craig Shakespeare that sanctioned what looked like something of a gamble given the Englishman had been part of a Hull team relegated from the Premier League the season before, not to mention that they conceded more goals (80) than any other team that term.

However, it has proven to be quite the masterstroke from the ex-Leicester chief, with Maguire going on to become an outstanding centre back for both club and country to suggest that Puel is certainly reaping the rewards from Shakespeare’s bold gamble.

Ultimately, Shakespeare was looking to improve his Leicester side heading into the 2017/18 season after leading the club to safety in the second half of the campaign before, taking over from Claudio Ranieri in February 2017 before steering them to a 12th place finish.

And the addition of Hull’s Maguire was one of his first in a bid to shore up a backline that conceded 63 goals in their 38 league games in the 2016/17 season, and what a decision that is proving to be as the 25-year-old has come on leaps and bounds during his time at the King Power Stadium.

The centre back appeared in all 38 of their Premier League matches last season under a combination of Shakespeare and Puel as the Foxes recorded a top-half finish, with his fine efforts for the Midlands outfit attracting the interest of England manager Gareth Southgate, who then made him a starter in their World Cup campaign last summer.

And in appearing in all eight of the Three Lions’ matches at the finals in Russia, Maguire certainly made a name for himself with several commanding and composed displays in the heart of Southgate’s back three, with his goal in their 2-0 win over Sweden just rewards for a brilliant debut tournament.

He has continued his fine form into this season with 16 Premier League appearances for Leicester to help them to seventh place, with it looking more and more that the £12.33 million the Foxes spent on him back in 2017 was something of a bargain – for what it’s worth, Transfermarkt now value him at a staggering £40.5 million.

And current boss Puel has former chief Shakespeare to thank for his bold gamble to land the 25-year-old, with the Frenchman very much reaping the rewards from the Englishman’s decision.

Leicester fans… what do you think? Let us know!

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