Harry Maguire: How did Manchester United’s £80million man perform against Chelsea?


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Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer threw new signing Harry Maguire straight into the fray on Sunday, handing him his Premier League debut against Chelsea.

It comes days after he joined the Red Devils for £80million, a world record fee for defender.

Harry Maguire made his debut for Manchester United against Chelsea

Getty Images – Getty

Harry Maguire made his debut for Manchester United against Chelsea

And as the Red Devils hosted the Blues, Maguire and his new teammates ran out 4-0 winners which will buoy Solskjaer and the disgruntled United supporters who were unhappy with some of their summer dealings.

But how did the England defender perform in his first appearance in a red shirt, following to sparkling campaigns with Leicester City?

Here at talkSPORT.com we ran the rule of Maguire and you can see what we thought below.

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Positioning

Maguire lined up on the left side of central defence with teammate Victor Lindelof on the right, which wasn’t unexpected.

He did swap with the Swede occasionally, mainly after set-pieces as the structure of the team adjusted but he looked very comfortable when he did move across.

When David De Gea had the ball, Maguire seemed at ease, moving deeper and wider to offer his new teammate a passing option.

Some of the movement from Ross Barkley and Mason Mount kept him on his toes too but on the whole dealt with it well enough.

As he was forced to deal with Tammy Abraham more often, he saw fit to stay touch tight as the Blues moved into the final third.

Maguire did okay on his debut but will need to improve as he settles at Old Trafford

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Maguire did okay on his debut but will need to improve as he settles at Old Trafford

Defending

When called across to help Luke Shaw earlier on he failed to block a cross from Cesar Azpilicueta which almost resulted in a goal for the Blues – a near miss for Maguire.

And just after the half-hour mark he was left scurrying around his penalty area chasing Mason Mount when he appeared too drawn to the ball after the initial pass into the final third.

It did get better as he blocked a Jorginho shot from range and a tangle with Tammy Abraham saw him come off second best.

But Maguire’s tussle with Abraham could have seen him give away a foul prior to Anthony Martial’s strike but referee Anthony Taylor allowed play to carry on.

He also won 71 per cent of his aerial duels, which we come to expect from the towering Sheffield-native.

Maguire had moments of sloppiness in the first half

Getty Images – Getty

Maguire had moments of sloppiness in the first half

Passing

He’s usually confident in possession but the England centre-back made a few sloppy passes around the 20-minute mark before then showcasing his vision with a cross-field ball only 12 yards out from his own goal.

He grew into the game but wasn’t too ambitious for the majority, seeking out his closest teammate rather then anything more intricate, which was smart bearing in mind he needs to settle.

In the end he managed to complete 49 of his 57 attempts, while also managing a key pass in the second period.

Dribbling

It wasn’t a game for Maguire for to showcase his skills at moving the ball forward but on one occasion in the Chelsea penalty area he held onto the ball superbly and teed up Marcus Rashford for a shot.

You’re likely to see more from him against teams who defend with a block and invite pressure from Manchester United.

Maguire will have harder days at Old Trafford

Getty Images – Getty

Maguire will have harder days at Old Trafford

Conclusion

A 4-0 win was the perfect debut for the £80m man but it wasn’t quite a perfect performance from Maguire.

For the moment we’ll chalk it up to him only being a Red Devil for a few days but bearing in mind he’s the most expensive defender ever you can also be excused for thinking he should have been a little more composed at times.

If he puts in a similar performance against other teams this season there may be a few questions raised but against Chelsea he was posed no serious threats.

For now it’s good enough but he can still improve and be imperious at Old Trafford.


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Chris Wright

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