Football News

Ferdinand: “Level headed” Maguire as good as anyone in the game

By Harry Edwards

Published: 14:49, 8 August 2019

Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has backed Harry Maguire to be a leader at the club.

Maguire became the most expensive defender ever when his £80m move from Leicester City to United was confirmed on Monday, overtaking the £75m Liverpool spent on Virgil van Dijk in 2018.

Can Maguire live up to expectations? Five things to know…

  • Harry Maguire joined Manchester United for £80m on Monday.
  • The fee makes him the most expensive defender in history.
  • Already, high expectations are being placed on the centre-back to solve United’s problems.
  • And Ferdinand believes Maguire is as good as anyone in driving the ball out from defence.
  • Ferdinand was the world’s most expensive defender on two separate occasions.

Ferdinand, who retired in 2015, was also the world’s most expensive defender at two points in his career, costing Leeds £18m in 2000 – a then-British transfer record – and Manchester United £30m two years later.

As a result, Ferdinand understands the pressure that comes with such a label, but the 40-year-old expects Maguire to excel at United.

In a post on Instagram, Ferdinand wrote: “After speaking to numerous people that know him, they all say what a level headed, hard working lad he is who will give 110 per cent for his team, something he echoed himself when he signed.

“He has made huge strides in the right direction and improved all areas of his game.

“He’s grown into someone who can be a leader of men. He has shown he can effective at both ends of the pitch.

“His composure and willingness on the ball as well as his ability to drive out from defence is as good as anyone in the game right now.

View this post on Instagram

Most Expensive Defender Of All Time… Harry Maguire signs for @manchesterunited for £80mill… funny enough we’ve both been there! Is there pressure? Yes.. is there expectation from across the world? Definitely… Are all eyes on Me? 100%… Will Your teammates be expecting big things? Of course…. Will people be expecting a massive change in the teams fortune? Most Definitely… These were the feelings, questions that were surrounding me when signing for the great club Manchester United. Being a CB, I have took a keen interest In Harry Maguire’s game since being linked with #MUFC under Moyes. He has made huge strides in the right direction & improved in all areas of his game. He’s grown into someone who can lead & be a leader of men… and shown at both ends of the pitch he can be effective. He has composure, willingness on the ball as well as the ability to drive out from the defence which I feel is as good as anyone in the game right now. Does he have things to work on… ofcourse like everyone else! After speaking to numerous people that know him, they all say what a level headed, hard working lad he is who will give 110% for his team which he echoed when signing. I think something #MUFC have needed defensively in recent years is a big character who can take on the responsibility of leading from the back & from what I’ve heard from people who know him well, they are confident that he will bring that to this football club. I would like to wish him well in the no5 shirt of @manchesterunited and hope he can help bring back success to our club. Good Luck @harrymaguire93 👊🏽⚽️

A post shared by Rio Ferdinand (@rioferdy5) on

“I think something Manchester United have needed defensively in recent years is a big character who can take on the responsibility of leading from the back & from what I’ve heard from people who know him well, they are confident that he will bring that to this football club.

“I would like to wish him well in the no. 5 shirt of Manchester United and hope he can help bring back success to our club. Good Luck.”

Ferdinand is not the only former record-breaking defender to have his say on Maguire’s fee, with Van Dijk also warning United’s new signing of the pressure which comes with the move.

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Ferdinand reveals questions most asked about record-breaking signings

As someone who was twice the recipient of a world-record transfer fee, Ferdinand is experienced in dealing with questions being asked about him.

He added: “Is there pressure? Yes. Is there expectation from across the world? Definitely.

“Are all eyes on me? 100%. Will your teammates be expecting big things? Of course.

“Will people be expecting a massive change in fortune? Most definitely.

“These were the feelings and questions that were surrounding me when signing for the great club Manchester United.”

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