Once I had my eyes on this club, I always wanted to join. Thankfully I’m here so I can’t wait to get the season started and kick on - Harry sounds very positive about the move in his first interview with the club.
Here we’ll take a look at what the 24 year old has to offer and how he can help the team improve for the coming season and for he future.
Fitting the mould
Wes Morgan, Robert Huth, Marcin Wasilewski, Yohan Benalouane. Outside of emergency fill in Christian Fuchs, it would be fair to say the Foxes have a ‘type’ at CB: big ‘uns. Maguire certainly falls into that category himself. He’s strong enough to wrestle with the biggest of forwards and can be relied on to win his aerial battles.
Leicester's ongoing commitment to absolutely colossal centre-halves. You don't so much buy Harry Maguire as sign a 999-year leasehold on him— Adam Hurrey (@FootballCliches) June 14, 2017
As you’d expect, that does mean he’s a little limited for pace, but he makes up for that with great positional awareness. That skill was particularly on display in Hull’s 2-0 loss to Chelsea (not his fault, Hull were just bad) when he came up with an astounding seven tackles and eight interceptions.
Comfort on the ball
While he may look a bit like Robert Huth, Maguire’s years of youth team football in midfield have left him with a touch that looks nothing like the big German’s. His passing numbers won’t jump out at you, but that’s because Hull played a similar style to Leicester, with their CBs often asked to go for length rather than accuracy when playing it forward.
I set my sights on defending, but I can play with the ball at my feet and I’m comfortable doing so, so hopefully I can show the fans that
One stat that will stand out, especially to those of us still bearing the mental scars of Sol Bamba, is that he completed more dribbles than any other Premier League defender. The key word there is completed though. He wasn't giving the ball away and it stands as proof that we move be moving gradually in the direction of the modern, ball playing centre back.
A building block for the future
While he has a wealth of starting experience, 24 is still very young for a central defender and the club have clearly shown faith that he’s here to last by handing him a five year contract. Even once this one has run it’s course, at 29 he could be just entering his prime at a position that usually peaks late. Early days still of course, but he could anchor our defence for the next 8-10 years.
He [Shakespeare] showed me the way that the Club is going. It’s on the up and it looks very promising for the future
Shakespeare was clear earlier in the summer that the right attitude to fit the squad is just as important in his recruitment as talent. If Maguire, who captained Hull towards the end of the season, fits the mentality as well as expected he could become a leader and possibly a future captain to build the defence around.
Young English players with no negatives to their name cost more than £17m. The good thing about Maguire is that most of his are unknowns, rather than glaring holes in his game.
He looked very good last year, at least compared to his teammates, but there’s no getting around that his team conceded a lot of goals. Take him away from the Tigers and into a stronger surrounding cast, with Kasper behind him and Ndidi in front and things should get better, but there’s no proven track record.
Playing nearly every game in the Premier League for Hull has definitely helped me – I know that I can play at that level. Staying in the Premier League was a big priority because last year I felt I proved myself
He’s also had just one full year at this level. Yes, he’s shown the tools in that year that should project well for the future, but there have been plenty of one year wonders.
Which is all a long way of saying, I’m pretty excited about this deal. Any transfer can fail to work out for all kinds of reasons, but I think we’ve picked up a good player. He should step straight into the heart of our defence and could stay there for a very long time.
There’s still work to be done, especially at the back where I think we could do with more depth on the right and in the centre, but this is a move in the right direction.