Around a year ago Harry Maguire was preparing to do battle with Manchester United in the colours of Leicester City as the Premier league opened up… 12 months down the line and the England central defender is an Old Trafford player.
Hard-working Maguire this week completed his £85million deal to join United from the Foxes and is now in training with his new team-mates under the guidance of Red Devils boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as his side prepares for their opening day fixture against Chelsea.
Maguire was with Sheffield United before he made the switch to City — now he has spoken of his pride as he has risen from humble beginnings as a Blade to representing one of the biggest clubs in the world at the Theatre of Dreams.
Speaking to the club’s official website, the Three Lions hero said:
“It’s incredible. It’s a really proud moment for me to join such a big club, I’m really looking forward to it and I can’t wait to get started. Like you said, the first game last season was at Old Trafford — it’s the fixture that I always look for when I’ve been playing in the Premier League, Old Trafford away and now it’s my home, so I can’t wait to get started.”
It’s not the easiest of starts to the top-flight campaign for Maguire and his team-mates as they come up against last season’s Europa League winners (they beat London rivals Arsenal in the final) as the Blues try to impress new boss, former midfielder Frank Lampard.
But if he is selected (you can’t imagine that with a transfer fee that makes him the world’s costliest defender that he won’t be!), the no-nonsense stopper is ready, able and willing to repel the Chelsea attack in the game, which kicks off at 4.30pm on Sunday, August 11.
And he added that amid all the speculation about his move to United throughout the summer, he has been busy getting as fit as possible. He revealed:
“I’ve worked really hard, I’ve done every session and I’ve played every game for Leicester so my fitness is there. That was a big part for me to play because if I ended up getting the move that I wanted, I would have been fit and in contention to play the first game. I feel like I’m ready to go, but obviously it’s the gaffer’s decision.”
United needed a leader at the heart of their backline and there can be little doubt that Maguire fits that bill. Whether or not he justifies the fee is another matter. But it won’t be for lack of effort that the defender bids to convince the United fans that he is worth every penny.