If there has been one thing that Jose Mourinho can proudly boast of in his managerial career is the fact that his teams often have a sturdy, almost impenetrable defence. The Portuguese trains his teams to the extreme extent where they can thwart the attack of even the greatest of teams. Inter vs Barca 2009, anyone, eh?
Therefore it comes as a surprise that, in a season when Manchester United have been extremely solid in front of their goal, they also have been downright lacklustre at other times. Horrific individual mistakes by their defenders coupled with the hullabaloo during set pieces have been the trademark of this season so far.
Phil Jones and Chris Smalling look unbeatable at times, whilst in other games, they look like a couple of Sunday League defenders called up to play against Lionel Messi. In the game against Newcastle United, there was plenty of unrest in and around the penalty box, which eventually led to the only goal of the game.
Sooner or later, Victor Lindelof will take over the mantle of leading the backline and Jose is reportedly keen to add some more options to his roster.
And the impressive Harry Maguire’s name has cropped up in the last couple of days as someone who Jose wants to sign.
Maguire- The ball-playing old-school defender!
Harry Maguire is a perfect blend of the old school and modern centre-back and loves to play the ball out. Well, some Manchester United defenders find it difficult to pick a pass even from five yards out (hey, Smalling, you there?).
Maguire is a strong defender and absolutely dominates the box both in the air and on the ground. He is a strong tackler, a solid prospect to play against inside the box and can bully the forwards with his physical play.
The English international has played 26 matches in the Premier League this season and has scored twice while assisting four times too. He has won an impressive 59% of his defensive duels that includes a success rate of 63% in aerial duels. Moreover, he has a pass accuracy rate of 79%, a figure that few defenders can boast of having.
Majority of his defensive actions come via clearances and interceptions, showcasing the fact that he reads the game better than most players. He has a tendency to surge ahead with the ball and has earned an international cap due to his impressive performances for Hull City and the Foxes.
Should Manchester United make a move for him?
Actually, this deal does make a lot of sense. Harry Maguire is the quintessential centre-back as he can be strong in his own half, whilst being productive by making passes between the lines in the other half too and is a goalscoring defender.
Jose has been frustrated with the individual errors and his apparent interest to sign Maguire is a positive move and should the deal go through, the Englishman looks like a solid prospect for a club like Manchester United.
Stats Courtesy: Squawka