The statistics which suggest Roy Keane is wrong to criticise new Manchester United star Harry Maguire


Former Manchester United club captain Roy Keane was rather critical of his former employer’s new £80million signing, Harry Maguire.

Keane claimed that while Maguire might be good on the ball, there is still some worry about his defensive abilities.

“I think he’s done OK,” the Irishman said on ITV regarding Maguire’s Old Trafford career thus far.

Harry Maguire became the worlds most expensive defender in the summer

Getty Images – Getty

Harry Maguire became the worlds most expensive defender in the summer

“We were talking about how good he is on the ball, but defensively I still think he’s… I still have one or two question marks over him.

“I always worry about his pace on the turn.

“I remember the first goal against Crystal Palace where he’s not doing the basics, covering round his other centre-half.

“Listen, he’s 26 years of age now; you’re worried if you’re pointing these things out to him.”

Virgil van Dijk is widely regarded as the best defender in the world

Getty Images – Getty

Virgil van Dijk is widely regarded as the best defender in the world

Interestingly, while Keane thought that Maguire was to blame for the goal, Premier League statistics have stated that Harry Maguire has had zero errors leading to goals so far this campaign.

This is compared to the one error he made last season which resulted in his team conceding.

By comparison, Virgil van Dijk, last season’s player of the season and widely-regarded as the league’s best defender also had one mistake which led to Liverpool conceding a goal.

When comparing Van Dijk and Maguire’s other stats since the start of the Premier League season, it would certainly appear as if Manchester United over-paid for the Englishman.

On average, Liverpool’s number four won 4.8 aerial duels per game, one more than Harry Maguire. Van Dijk won 181 of his 224 aerial duels, giving him a success rate of 74 per cent. Harry Maguire on the other hand won 118 of his 181 aerial duels, leaving him with a success rate of 65 per cent.

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Jurgen Klopp’s centre-back also managed to create more big chances, score more goals, have shots, register more assists and concede fewer goals that Harry Maguire.

The Englishman only managed to keep six clean sheets during the Premier League campaign last year, more than three times less than his Dutch counter-part.

By comparison, Liverpool paid £75m for Van Dijk (£5m less than Manchester United paid Leicester for Maguire) and it appears as if Jurgen Klopp certainly got the better deal.

Harry Maguire in 2019/20

Maguire joined Man United before the start of the season, but how has he performed since making the move to Old Trafford?

  • Appearances: 4
  • Minutes: 360
  • Tackles: 2
  • Attempted Tackles: 3
  • Times Dribbled Past: 1
  • Interceptions: 8
  • Fouls: 1
  • Clearances: 18
  • Blocks: 3
  • Key Passes: 4

However, it seems as if other than Virgil van Dijk, Maguire’s number compare quite well to the other top European defenders.

Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly, a man who Manchester United were reportedly also interested in signing, has had a staggering four defensive errors lead to his team conceding goals since the start of the 2016/17 season. By comparison, Maguire has only has one.

Mats Hummels and Gerard Pique have made two and three mistakes respectively in the same time period.

While Matthijs de Ligt, the former Ajax captain who was linked with a move to Old Trafford, has made four defensive errors leading to goals.

In terms of interceptions, Maguire managed more than Aymeric Laporte, Sergio Ramos, Samuel Umtiti and the aforementioned Kalidou Koulibaly.

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All things considered, Maguire is certainly a solid defender, and perhaps did not deserve the harsh review given to him by Roy Keane.

However, when you cost £80m and are the world’s most expensive defender, you cannot help but be held to the highest standards and compared to the very best in the game.

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