This time last year, £17m would have been a new record transfer fee paid by Leicester City. Not long ago the idea of the Foxes spending that much on a defender was just unthinkable, but we predicted a large fee for a centre back this summer and it looks like the club have obliged.
The good news is that the Mercury and BBC are reporting that the initial fee will be just £12m, which could rise to 16 or 17m with incentives, depending on who you ask. The even better news is that he’s probably worth the money anyway.
After finishing the Spurs game with no CBs on the pitch, and with all of our defence over 30, it was clear that some young blood was needed at the back. At just 24 Maguire certainly provides that, but he’s also not lacking for experience with over 250 first team appearances already to his name.
Born in Sheffield, he started out with Sheffield United and, after graduating from their youth team was quickly promoted to the starting 11. After cracking the Blades lineup, Maguire went on to play over 150 times before his 21st birthday and was then signed by Hull City for £2.5m. After initially struggling for playing time, he was a regular member of their back four during their promotion campaign and the ill fated Premier League season that followed.
| The most valuable praise comes from your peers!— Hull City (@HullCity) May 9, 2017
Congratulations to Harry Maguire who picked up the Players’ Player of the Year award pic.twitter.com/tXlCnXL2zq
Despite Hull’s terrible record, Maguire did put in plenty of good performances, going on to win their fans’ and players’ player of the year award. It wasn’t his first such win, having also done so for Sheffield United in 2012. Towards the end of the season he also captained the side and again had previously done so for the Blades, which is impressive given his age.
CB was clearly a position the Foxes were looking to strengthen and they also reportedly made a £10m bid for West Brom’s Johnny Evans, which was rejected. We don’t know whether this came before the Maguire deal was agreed, or whether they intended to sign both, but it’s another indication that they mean business when it comes to shoring up the defence.
We’ll try to get more into exactly what Maguire can bring to the team once the deal has been made official, which is expected to be tomorrow, but for now we know that Leicester are on the cusp of signing a very good, young player at a position of desperate need for a fairly reasonable fee. If the rest of the summer goes this well, it won't matter how hard our fixtures might be.