Manchester United’s £80 million centre-back, Harry Maguire, has been the subject of some criticism of late. With some of the clubs supporters believing his performances on the pitch have been below par, and some backing his output, he’s been wearing the captain’s armband this season in the absence of Ashley Young. But, does he deserve it?
It has been rumoured that Young, amongst others, will be leaving United in the summer transfer window. Young has been strongly linked with a move to Italian giants Inter Milan, and as the official club captain, he’ll be passing on the honour to another member of the squad. It was recently speculated that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has chosen four possible candidates to take over the responsibility – Marcus Rashford, Juan Mata, David De Gea and Harry Maguire.
All four have led the club out in previous matches, the most inexperienced being Marcus Rashford with just the one game. But given Maguire’s short tenure at the club, his fast track to the captaincy has raised some eyebrows amongst supporters. Since coming into the side, Maguire’s impact was felt almost immediately.
Although, defensive stability was aided with the signing of Aaron Wan-Bissaka. Maguire was brought in for his aerial prowess and dominance over opposing strikers, and he’s delivered in that aspect. The Englishman has made 30 appearances so far this season for the Red Devils in all competitions and is still yet to score a goal. He’s completed 86% of his passes and assisted one goal.
Although Solskjaer’s side have conceded 25 goals in the Premier League this season, Maguire’s individual stats boast some of the best numbers in the league. He’s made 24 tackles in the league, won 101 aerial duels, only three fewer than Virgil van Dijk and has made more headed clearances than the big Dutchman, 57 to van Dijk’s 50. He also has an 86.49% pass completion, completing 1,414 passes overall.
Based on these stats, Maguire is up there with players who are being lauded as the world’s best in terms of defenders. His influence on the back four in general has been noticeable. He brings a calming influence to a defensive unit that has been rash and erratic in recent years. He’s provided Victor Lindelof with a stable partner and has instilled more confidence in the players around him.
I think it would be a bit rushed to give Maguire the armband, as I think you must deserve the captaincy. He boasts some good stats, but consistently performing at the highest level is the least anybody should expect from their club captain and that’s not something Maguire has given us yet.
David De Gea would be my choice of captain. He’s been at the club for almost a decade and has arguably been United’s most important player for the majority of his career at United. He’s been the club’s only ‘world class’ player since he was signed and has done more for the club than anybody else, in terms of his performances on the pitch.
Who would you choose to be Manchester United’s next club captain?
Written by Anton Brooks