Manchester City have raced ahead in pursuit of Harry Maguire’s signature this summer, according to the Mirror.
There’s a certain allure about Manchester City that simply cannot be matched by their struggling neighbours Manchester United, who are also rumoured to be in for England star Harry Maguire.
Last season’s domestic treble means the Citizens have secured twice the number of trophies (10) in the past decade as their close rivals (5). They boast one of the most decorated managers of all time in Pep Guardiola, who Maguire is believed to want to work with, and the positive environment the club appears to offer is far more conducive to career progression than the current mess at Old Trafford, where Solskjaer and Ed Woodward are yet to address a serious lack of quality in the squad.
Guardiola wants a new central defender to replace Vincent Kompany who departed the club after 11 years to re-join Anderlecht. Should he get his wish, and Maguire join, then we predict two of the following will occur…
City get their Kompany replacement
Obvious one, really.
Harry Maguire may not have enjoyed his best season to date, according to WhoScored ratings, but his statistics hold up pretty well compared to the man he’s tipped to replace; producing 1 tackle, 1.2 interceptions, 4.9 clearances and won 3.8 aerial duels on average per game last season, while title-hero Kompany produced 0.9 tackles, 0.9 interceptions, 3.2 clearances and won 2.2 aerial duels, respectively.
Statistics considered, evidently there’s reasons why the two have drawn comparisons. Maguire is a player with four years’ worth of Premier League experience under his belt. He would provide the same sort of goliath physical presence at the back which Kompany has implemented over the course of his illustrious career, as well as the ability to play out from defence – donning an average 56.4 passes per game in an under performing Leicester City side – which would suit Guardiola’s style perfectly.
Manchester United suffer
One thing is for certain: without Maguire, United will suffer.
United conceded 54 goals last season, the second highest in the Premier League, behind West Ham (55). They kept just seven clean sheets in total, only two of which came at Old Trafford, and field what some might consider one of the weakest defensive units on paper; with Ashley Young, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones commonly criticised by fans. For any self-respecting, trophy-chasing side this simply isn’t good enough.
England international Harry Maguire could have been the answer to the club’s woes, or at least a step in the right direction. However, with City set to intercept the deal, they’ll be without; leaving them with their second or third choice target, who they’re likely to overpay for.
One for the City fans to savour.
Stones/Otamendi frozen out
One in one out.
Out of the two suitors, the most likely to leave the club this summer in the wake of a Maguire arrival would surely be Nicolas Otamendi. The Argentine enjoyed a fine 2017-18 campaign with the Blues but has since found appearances hard to come by with Aymeric Laporte, Vincent Kompany and John Stones all sitting above him in the pecking order. Earlier this year, rumours circulated that Otamendi was being eyed up to replace Atletico Madrid captain Diego Godin, who is set to join Inter Milan this summer. And while we haven’t heard anything since, the player is understood to be open to a move away (as per goal.com). That being said, there’s absolutely every chance that Maguire’s arrival could catalyse a string of events that would see Otamendi leave the club.
On the other hand, there’s John Stones. The England star struggled to make much of an impact last season with just 24 Premier League appearances to his name, which was split up into a tellingly low 239 minutes in the final 10 games. Whether or not this was due to an injury he picked up in March against Watford remains to be seen; however, it could quite easily be interpreted as a lack of faith shown in him to get the job done by Guardiola, who turned to his captain and Laporte on the title run-in.
The beginning of the end?
Manchester City fans, do you agree with our selections? Let us know in the comments below…Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!