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'Maguire not in the same class as £200m Van Dijk' - Man Utd overpaid for new signing, says Collymore

10:06 BST 06/08/2019
Harry Maguire Virgil van Dijk Leicester Liverpool
The former Liverpool striker is not convinced that the Red Devils have acquired a centre-half with the ability to match that of one at Anfield

Manchester United paid “double his true worth” for Harry Maguire, claims Stan Collymore, with an £80 million ($97m) new boy at Old Trafford considered to be “not in the same class as Virgil van Dijk”.

The Red Devils have made the England international centre-half the most expensive defender in world football .

At 26 years of age, they should be acquiring a player approaching his peak years, with there further potential for them to unlock over the course of a long-term contract.

Collymore, though, is not convinced that United have acquired a defender capable of emulating the achievements of a £75m ($91m) rival at Liverpool, with Van Dijk having raised the bar when it comes to the art of defending.

The former Reds striker told The Mirror : “Manchester United finally got their man on Monday with the £80m capture of Harry Maguire but they have paid double his true worth.

“United unveiled their big-money buy on a six-year deal from Leicester after a lengthy pursuit which started last summer after the World Cup.

“I like and respect England stopper Maguire who is a very good player, leader and influence in the dressing room.

“But the 26-year-old is not in the same class as Liverpool's Dutch stopper Virgil van Dijk.

“For a British central defender with leadership qualities, Harry fits the bill.

“But if you want premium quality to push you to a title or Champions League then Van Dijk is your man.

“Maguire, even in an expensive market, is overpriced and United have played twice the price of his realistic value in my view to make him the world's most expensive defender.”

Ex-England international Collymore added: “His price tag means he now eclipses Van Dijk, 28, who became the world's costliest defender when he joined Liverpool from Southampton in January 2018 for £75m.

“But that has proven to be worth every penny.

“I remember people talking about Van Dijk back at Celtic and saying this guy is a Rolls Royce.

“He is now looking a bargain because the Dutchman has to be worth £200m to a Barcelona, Real Madrid or PSG as he is that influential and that good.

“Maguire is going to have to step up and then some to prove himself as good a signing.”

Maguire has linked up with a United side that will be without Champions League football in 2019-20, while Liverpool – the current holders of that prize – have their sights set on another Premier League title bid this season with Van Dijk helping to lead the charge.