It’s finally go to a stage where I actually feel sorry for Harry Maguire now.
But how did we get here?
Harry Maguire joined Manchester United in the summer of 2019 for £80 million and still, even to this day, I don’t understand why. He had been at Leicester City for 2 seasons and for my money, hadn’t been particularly outstanding, much less be worth anywhere near £80 million. He wasn’t involved in any of Leicester City’s recent successes, not being in the team that won the Premier League in 2016 or won the FA Cup in 2021. The buy was baffling in all honesty.
But you can’t blame Harry Maguire for that. A big club like Manchester United comes along, offers your club a massive fee and offers you massive wages. Anyone in their right mind would be taking that offer, I don’t care who you are.
The blame is down to Manchester United, who seem to have one of the worst scouting teams in European football.
So in that sense, Harry Maguire was destined to fail from the very beginning.
Manchester United, for some reason which I cannot fathom, pay outrageous money for players who just don’t cut it. The spent £80 million on Harry Maguire, and look at what they have spent on failed players over the last 10 years:
|Antony Martial||AS Monaco||£30 million|
|Paul Pogba||Juventus||£89 million|
|Henrikh Mkhitaryan||Borussia Dortmund||£30 million|
|Eric Bailly||Villarreal||£30 million|
|Romelu Lukaku||Everton||£90 million|
|Fred||Shakhtar Donetsk||£47 million|
|Aaron Wan-Bissaka||Crystal Palace||£45 million|
|Donny van de Beek||Ajax||£40 million|
|Jadon Sancho||Borussia Dortmund||£73 million|
|Lisandro Martínez||Ajax||£49 million|
|Mason Mount||Chelsea||£60 million|
By my calculations, that a whopping £665 million spent on players who haven’t improved the team at all, and I’m sure I’ve probably missed off a lot of other players from that list, including Daniel James which has just popped into my head. It really is astounding.
I’m not a highly paid employee of Manchester United, but for me none of those players in the above list are good signings, even at say £30 million. I honestly don’t know how a massive club like Manchester United decide on spending this kind of money on these kinds of players.
So back to Harry Maguire.
Manchester United have a reputation for vastly overpaying for players, leaving most of them in a position where they don’t perform well for the club (shocking) and then have a depreciating asset on extremely high wages.
That’s why from the list above, only Pogba, Mkhitaryan, Bailly and Lukaku aren’t there. The other players are on crazy money and why would you want to walk away from that?
Maguire got a lot of flack for not moving to West Ham United in the summer, which was reportedly very close. However it collapsed because the defender couldn’t agree a severance package with Manchester United.
People will say he should have gone regardless just to get first team football, but when have you seen a footballer walk away from money. They have agents working for them, making sure that they get exactly what they’re worth, or in Maguire’s case what they’re due. If he was on a long contract and was due to be paid a certain amount, you would be stupid to leave that on the table, especially the way Manchester United have treated him.
And then we come to Gareth Southgate’s role in all of this.
He will clearly pick Harry Maguire for his squad, regardless of whether he never plays for Manchester United.
Harry Maguire would have had a chat with Southgate about his England place, especially considering there is a massive tournament next summer. Most International managers usually say that they need to be playing regular football but obviously Gareth Southgate has said you’ll be in the squad no matter what – hence why Maguire wasn’t really going all out to join West Ham United.
So when it comes to this whole mess, there’s no-one to blame except Manchester United and Gareth Southgate.
The bottom line is that it’s not Harry Maguire’s fault he’s not being picked for Manchester United, and it’s not Harry Maguire’s fault he’s being picked for England.