Jose Mourinho heaped huge praise on Manchester United new boy Harry Maguire following the Red Devils’ rampant opening day victory over Chelsea.
Maguire was making his United debut after completing his £80million switch – a record transfer fee for a defender – from Leicester earlier this month.
And it was one to remember for the centre-back as he helped his new club beat Frank Lampard’s Blues 4-0.
Marcus Rashford’s brace and goals from Anthony Martial and Daniel James secured the victory.
There were a number of good performances in the United team including from two-goal hero Rashford.
However, former United and Chelsea boss Mourinho, who was working as a pundit for Sky Sports, identified Maguire as the game’s standout player.
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Mourinho said: “I think he [Maguire] fully deserved the man of the match.
“I think he was solid like a rock and as we know it’s very important for a team to have that not just the tactical knowledge but that personality, that sense of reading the game of being alert all the time and confident to play.
“He was fantastic, he was fantastic. Absolutely deserved.”
United were linked with a move for Maguire last summer when Mourinho was at the Old Trafford hotseat.
The Portuguese was particularly determined to add a new defender to his squad at the time but the club were unable to bring anyone in.
Mourinho even took to praising West Ham star Issa Diop after the Hammers beat United last season – a move by Mourinho that was interpreted as a way of sending a message to the club’s hierarchy for failing to get a new defender the previous summer.
And when asked if Maguire was the player Mourinho was looking for when he was in charge of United, Mourinho said: “He arrived one year later.”
Mourinho added: “A team can be very dangerous in attack but if you feel the defensive mistakes are around the corner it takes your confidence and you don’t play as well as you can.
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“Maguire was good, Lindelof was good. As I always told Lindelof can be a very good player and with Maguire can make a very, very good couple.”
Maguire’s performance also drew praise from legendary former United defender Gary Neville.
He posted on Twitter on Monday: “I loved Maguire yesterday (Sunday).
“Top CB’s don’t sweat, look calm, don’t spend time on their backsides, win headers, are composed on the ball, cover others and lead by example.
“It’s only early but he demonstrated all those qualities. No sign of the price tag or Old Trafford phasing him either!”
United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was also delighted with Maguire’s display, as well as that of fellow new boys Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Daniel James.
Wan-Bissaka was a rock on his debut, while James came off the bench to score.
“Of course, [with] Aaron [Wan-Bissaka] and Harry [Maguire], we’ve kept a clean sheet, they’ve come into the team and squad and they’ve lifted everyone, they’ve challenged the other boys because there is competition for places now,” said Solskjaer.
“I’m sure [Daniel James] will remember that for his whole life. He’s had a tough summer with his personal life as well and to start his career like this, I’m so pleased for him.”