Amid all of the emotion and euphoria of England’s heroics on Tuesday night, Harry Maguire gave a little nod to the world that he really is a player destined for the big-time.
The 25-year-old is the ideal mix of the old fashioned centre-half and the more modern ball-playing defender. At 1.94m and 100kg, Maguire is a man mountain and will, more often than not, come out on top in a physical battle with a striker. However, his technical abilities are surprising. He brings the ball out from the back with grace and has a passing range that is so vital in the modern game.
His performance against Colombia was tremendous. He was the best of an impressive back-three, playing with extreme confidence and personality. Two years ago, he was watching England with his mates! This was the level of performance expected from a man with 50 caps not nine! A performance of such maturity amid the intense pressure is what had the likes of Gary Neville waxing lyrically.
At Leicester, Maguire is well suited. The Foxes play an ambitious style of play which often leaves the defence exposed. It gives him the feel of a bigger club, where centre-backs have to take a lot more responsibility. Many defenders look deceptively good in smaller teams that sit tight and soak up pressure; Maguire is not deceiving anyone. Yet, while Leicester are a very good outfit, these kinds of displays, on the biggest stage, are what will alert the vultures in the Champions League.
You look at Manchester United who are linked with Toby Alderweireld and Jerome Boateng, two ageing players, and think that Maguire would be a perfect fit. Jose Mourinho needs a ball-playing centre-back that he can trust. Victor Lindelof is a good passer but doesn’t seem to have his manager’s trust from a defensive perspective. Maguire has the height and physicality that Mourinho adores but also the technical ability that many of his centre-halves lack; he may actually be the Portuguese’s perfect fit.
At the moment, however, he’s loving life in England’s starting eleven and the last thing on his mind should be a potential transfer. Any rumours that do surface are just recognition for how well he is playing and how good he could potentially become.