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Maguire & Luiz backed as best summer transfers by Liverpool legend

10:44 PM IST 11/08/19
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer/Harry Maguire Manchester United
Robbie Fowler says Manchester United and Arsenal have invested wisely in two defenders this summer

Former Liverpool striker Robbie Fowler says Harry Maguire and David Luiz are the two best transfers of the summer window.

Maguire became the world’s most expensive defender when he made the move from Leicester to Manchester United earlier this month for £80 million ($97m).

Luiz meanwhile made a surprise switch from west to north London when he joined Arsenal from Chelsea for £8m ($10m) on deadline day.

The size of the Maguire fee has raised eyebrows in some quarters, while others have questioned whether Luiz is a reliable replacement for the departing Laurent Koscielny at Emirates Stadium.

Fowler, though, is in no doubt that both players with prove shrewd additions, citing the transfer policy of champions Manchester City and last year’s runners-up Liverpool as examples of clubs investing wisely in defenders.

“For me, it’s no coincidence that, in the past couple of years, first Pep Guardiola at Manchester City then Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp, splashed a huge amount of cash on defenders,” Fowler told the Mirror. “Pep seems to be hoarding full-backs like they’ll be discontinued.

“It has worked. He transformed City from a side that could score for fun, but couldn’t defend, into one that still scores for fun, but now doesn’t concede many.

"In fact, last season the only team which conceded fewer was Liverpool – and, given they spent £150m on a keeper and centre-back, then that was no surprise to me.

"This time around, a couple of clubs have followed that lead and that makes me believe they may just have done the best individual deals in the window.

"Harry Maguire will come as no surprise as my top pick for the best buy. I know it was a crazy amount of money, but I don’t go with the idea Manchester United ­overpaid. What does that even mean?

"If you need a player, you pay what you can and what it takes to get him. United desperately needed a top ­centre-back… and they’ve got him. So the money doesn’t matter, getting the player does.

"The same was said about Liverpool and Virgil van Dijk last season. Doesn’t look like silly money now, though, does it? United had to pay whatever it took to get Maguire and, for me, he can transform their ­defence in the same way.

"My other 'best buy' of the window comes in the bargain section and the plaudits go to Arsenal for signing David Luiz.

“Yes, I know there are detractors, I know so many people don’t rate him. But £8m for a Brazil international ­defender who’s won the ­Premier League, Champions League, two Europa Leagues and two French leagues along with a Confederations Cup? That’s a steal for that sort of experience. I think Arsenal may just have got the best of this window.

"They’ve got some exciting ­attacking players and also brought in Kieran Tierney for a decent price. Again, they ­desperately needed defenders and now they have two with pedigree.”