Former Manchester United defender Jonny Evans believes Harry Maguire is ‘tailor made’ to succeed at Old Trafford and can emulate Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk.
Evans and Maguire forged a formidable centre-back partnership at Leicester City last season before the Red Devils pounced for the England international earlier this month.
Can Maguire emulate Van Dijk? Five things to know…
- Since signing for Liverpool in January 2018, Van Dijk has transformed the club’s defence.
- The Dutchman was imperious as Liverpool clinched a sixth European crown last campaign.
- Liverpool kept the most PL clean sheets (21) as Van Dijk won the Premier League Player of the Season award.
- Maguire (£80m) overtook Van Dijk (£75m) as the world’s most expensive defender last week.
- And Evans believes his ex-colleague possesses all the right characteristics to shine at Old Trafford.
Maguire made his Man Utd debut on Sunday as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side trounced Chelsea 4-0 in their Premier League curtain-raiser.
The result and performance drew rave reviews from fans and pundits alike, with Maguire keeping a first clean sheet, registering more interceptions than any player on the pitch (four) and not allowing a single Chelsea player to successfully dribble past him.
In the wake of his impressive start, Evans has now joined the bandwagon of praise for Maguire, going as far as to claim his game is very similar to that of Van Dijk.
He said: “You can see comparisons in their games.
“Both are great on the ball, and Harry has got explosive pace people don’t see. He is powerful and good in the air.
“Everyone will compare the transfer fees but it’s so difficult to judge transfer fees nowadays. We are all human and it is weird we get traded for money.
“In the transfer market it’s all supply and demand and things can go up and down at any moment. The most important thing is for him to be judged on how he plays.
“I don’t have any worries about him there. He is tailor-made for Manchester United, it was a great move for him.
“He’s a player they needed. He’s got a really likeable nature about him. He will be a real hit there, he is a fantastic player.”
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Evans’ new partner
With Maguire parting company from the Foxes, Brendan Rodgers has been forced to find an adequate successor but any concern on the King Power terraces was immediately dispelled after the performance of Caglar Soyuncu over the weekend.
Signed from SC Freiburg last summer, the Turkey international endured a difficult maiden campaign in the East Midlands, featuring sporadically as the Evans-Maguire partnership blossomed.
However, with little time to reinvest the funds accrued from the sale of Maguire, Rodgers has sought to entrust the defensive berth with Soyuncu, filling a prominent lacuna in his backline with a player who started just four matches in 2018/19.
But the result on Saturday was extremely encouraging as Leicester kept a clean sheet against Wolves, with Soyuncu completing the second-highest number of successful passes of any centre-back over the weekend (71), as well as the second-most dribbles (1) and having the fourth-most touches (86).