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Premier League: How Harry Maguire's stats fare in comparison with Manchester United's current centre-backs

Harry Maguire
Harry Maguire
ANALYST

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is determined to shore up Manchester United's defence, which conceded 54 goals in the previous league campaign. The Red Devils have signed Aaron Wan-Bissaka from Crystal Palace to address the issues which existed at the right-back spot last season.

Victor Lindelof, the club's best centre-half by a mile last season, looked isolated due to the absence of an intimidating partner alongside him at the heart of the defence. But in the pre-season campaign thus far, Wan-Bissaka has already stabilized the right side of United's backline.

After the signings of Wan-Bissaka and Daniel James, United have made a centre-back their priority in this transfer market. Amid a barrage of defenders linked with a move to Old Trafford this summer, Maguire has emerged as the top target - mainly due to Solskjaer's affinity towards homegrown talent.

Maguire is set to become the most expensive defender ever as Man United are reportedly prepared to pay around £80m for the 26-year-old.

On that note, let's compare Maguire with the United centre-backs he is set to replace in the starting XI.

Note: All the stats (via Premier League's official website) used for comparisons are calculated per game.


Also See : La Liga Transfer News, EPL Transfer News, Manchester united Transfer News.


#1 Phil Jones

Manchester United v Leeds United - Pre-Season Friendly
Manchester United v Leeds United - Pre-Season Friendly

Once considered a future United captain, Phil Jones is on the verge of finding himself surplus to requirements at Old Trafford. It's a pity that persistent fitness issues stopped the Englishman from making a mark at the biggest of stages.

Let's compare the numbers of Jones and Maguire.

Ball Recoveries

- Jones: 5.11

- Maguire: 6.29

Aerial Battles Won

- Jones: 2.55

- Maguire: 3.8

Tackles

- Jones: 1.05

- Maguire: 1.0

Interceptions

- Jones: 1.2

- Maguire: 1.19

Clearances

- Jones: 5.16

- Maguire: 4.9

Passes

- Jones: 41.89

- Maguire: 56.35


#2 Chris Smalling

Manchester United Training Session
Manchester United Training Session

Chris Smalling was one of the best defenders in the Premier League in the 2015-16 season under Louis van Gaal. Since then, Smalling has struggled to make a substantial impact due to his injury struggles and difficulty in defending in a zonal system - tactics used by previous manager Jose Mourinho and incumbent boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Here's a list of stats to compare Maguire and Smalling.

Tackles

- Smalling: 1.25

- Maguire: 1.0

Interceptions

- Smalling: 1.08

- Maguire: 1.19

Aerial Battles Won

- Smalling: 4.25

- Maguire: 3.8

Clearances

- Smalling: 4.41

- Maguire: 4.9

Ball Recoveries

- Smalling: 6.75

- Maguire: 6.29

Passes

- Smalling: 39.75

- Maguire: 56.35


#3 Eric Bailly

Manchester United v Leeds United - Pre-Season Friendly
Manchester United v Leeds United - Pre-Season Friendly

In his debut season at Old Trafford, Eric Bailly was the club's best centre-back and his contributions were vital in the Europa League and League Cup victories. Since then, injuries and lack of concentration from him have forced the Red Devils to target another quality defender to accompany Lindelof.

If Maguire is signed, Bailly will have to settle for being the third-best central defender at United. Below are some numbers to show how Bailly fared vis-a-vis Maguire last season.

Tackles

- Bailly: 1.25

- Maguire: 1.0

Interceptions

- Bailly: 1.08

- Maguire: 1.19

Ball Recoveries

- Bailly: 3.5

- Maguire: 6.29

Clearances

- Bailly: 3.08

- Maguire: 4.9

Aerial Battles Won

- Bailly: 1.08

- Maguire: 3.8

Passes

- Bailly: 25.17

- Maguire: 56.35

A perfect partner for Victor Lindelof

The three incumbent players boast greater numbers in a few areas but Maguire has more appearances under his belt which reinforce his durability. Also, Maguire's ball-playing qualities are not mentioned, which is one area where he is above all the aforementioned players.

Lindelof has established himself as the best centre-back at Man United after a torrid debut season in England. But despite his improved physical attributes, the Sweden international is still uncomfortable in dealing with long balls directed towards the towering strikers. Maguire's flawless aerial abilities will go a long way in helping the former Benfica man.

If Maguire arrives at Old Trafford this summer, Solskjaer is certain to use a high line of defence. Brisk forwards exploit Maguire's lack of pace as he is suspect while defending on the turn against pacy opponents. Lindelof however is a quick centre-back, and his sound reading of the game could help United prevent the counter-attacks.

Edited by Musab Abid
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