Football News

Nemanja Vidic: How 8/10 Harry Maguire can reach the “highest level”

By Ben Green

Published: 15:56, 8 July 2021

Former Manchester United centre-back Nemanja Vidic believes Harry Maguire has to win a trophy to be considered among the best.

Maguire, 28, has been the heartbeat of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s defence since joining from Leicester City for £80m in 2019.

Now skipper of the side, Maguire was instrumental as Man Utd reached the Europa League final in 2020/21, and he will now contest in the Euro 2020 final after helping guide England to the continental showpiece, where they face Italy on Sunday.

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The 36-capped Three Lion netted his fourth goal in national colours against Ukraine last week and recently held the fort as England came through a nervy evening against Denmark, winning the semi-final 2-1 after extra-time, courtesy of Harry Kane’s winner.

Despite his performances at both club and international level, Vidic — who won five Premier League titles and the 2008 Champions League with Man Utd — believes only when Maguire clinches silverware will he be considered among the very best in the game.

“Harry Maguire looks confident and comfortable, even more for his country than for Manchester United,” Vidic wrote in The Athletic.

“He’s a defender who is still improving, but if he wants to be recognised at the highest level he has to win trophies. When I look at Maguire I see a defender who is good at everything, 8/10 at everything.

“He’s not as good on the ball or as fast as Rio Ferdinand was for example, and he doesn’t tackle or head like I did, but he has quality across his game. He’s fast enough, he’s strong enough, he can jump and play the ball, his positioning is fine.”

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“We always knew Shaw was dangerous in attack but he’s improved a lot defensively”

Another of those who has impressed for England at Euro 2020 is Luke Shaw, affectionally dubbed ‘Shawberto Carlos’, with the Man Utd left-back so far creating the third-most chances of any defender at the tournament (nine), while he is also second in the assists chart of any player (three).

Although Shaw has elicited plaudits for his attacking exploits, Vidic has heaped praise on the improvements the England player has made defensively, highlighting his positional awareness as a particular trait that has enhanced in recent seasons.

He commented: “Shaw came to United just after I left. He has suffered from injuries but was one of United’s best players last season.

“We always knew Shaw was dangerous in attack but he’s improved a lot defensively, especially his positioning and especially when his team play three at the back.”

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