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‘Maguire reads danger like you or I read a Beano comic!’ – Man Utd new boy ‘outstanding’, says ex-England defender

6:19 AM EDT 8/12/19
Harry Maguire Manchester United 2019-20
The Red Devils defender earned plenty of plaudits on the back of his debut display against Chelsea, with Martin Keown among his many admirers

Harry Maguire has already started to justify his £80 million ($96m) price tag with a commanding performance on debut for Manchester United, with Martin Keown saying the England international “reads danger like you or I read a Beano comic”.

As the most expensive defender in world football, a new arrival at Old Trafford finds himself operating under the brightest of spotlights.

He did not seem overly fazed by the pressure which has been lumped onto his shoulders during a first outing for his new club against Chelsea on Sunday.

Maguire put in an assured display at the heart of United’s back four as the Red Devils got off to the perfect start in 2019-20 with a resounding 4-0 win.

Plaudits have rained down on the 26-year-old in the wake of that outing, with ex-England centre-half Keown saying in the Daily Mail of a man who is now an established star for club and country: “Harry Maguire reads danger like you or I would read a Beano comic.

“It comes naturally to the 6' 4" central defender and that is what Manchester United have paid good money for. 

“When he wins the ball, it is a cue for United to attack. Take a look at their second goal against Chelsea on Sunday.

“The England centre-back wins possession by shrugging off the challenge of Tammy Abraham on the edge of the box. Scott McTominay picks it up, feeds Marcus Rashford, who then finds Andreas Pereira. He crosses, and Anthony Martial scores. 

“So four passes and precisely 16 seconds after Maguire steals the ball off Abraham, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side have a 2-0 lead. United fans appreciate a good defender. 

“Later on in the game, whenever Maguire won a header, whenever he cleared the danger by lumping the ball into Row Z, it was greeted by cheers. 

“They love seeing that and the statistics show he made the most clearances, the most interceptions, and the most blocks. He inspired the crowd and his team-mates here. United kept two clean sheets in 19 Premier League outings at Old Trafford last season. 

“They conceded 54 goals in total – the most of any of the 'Big Six' – and 25 of those came at home. Now, they are off and running in 2019-20.”

Keown added on Maguire, who has enjoyed a meteoric rise to prominence in recent years: “I know of big clubs who were tracking the 26-year-old back when he was just a teenager breaking into the first team at Sheffield United.

“I was surprised when he went to Hull for only £2.5m in 2014. He had potential but none of the big boys in the Premier League took a chance at the time. 

“Now, after paying £80m, Manchester United have him. This was a very good day for Maguire and Solskjaer's new signings. “