Manchester United have agreed a fee to sell Harry Maguire to West Ham after a fee was agreed earlier today.
The Athletic reported a fee of £30 million has been agreed to sell the centre-back, bringing an end to his four years at the club.
By and large, it has not been a particularly happy spell at Manchester United for the England international, who started only eight Premier League games last season.
Erik ten Hag did not regard him as a first team starter, signing Lisandro Martinez last summer as his replacement.
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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was the manager who signed Harry Maguire in 2019, sanctioning a deal for £80 million, a record fee spent on a defender.
Speaking after sealing the deal four years ago, Solskjaer raved about Maguire and predicting he would bring a different dimension to Manchester United.
In 2023, the comments do not appear to have aged well. Maguire has looked more clumsy than composed, losing his confidence amid the pressure of playing for United.
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Solskjaer told club media: “I’m delighted that we got Harry in. He’s going to be great for this club. He was my number one target, and of course it took some time, but it does sometimes take time.
“I, more or less, made my mind up when we played Leicester last season that if it’s possible to get him we should try, because he’s so composed on the ball and he gives the team another dimension.”
Solskjaer’s declaration that Maguire would be ‘great’ for United, has not stood the test of time. It could be argued that his own decision to make the centre-back club captain straight away piled extra unnecessary pressure on the defender, along with the fee.
Maguire has retained his place for England during his inconsistent United spell, but needs the move if he is going to have a chance of starting at Euro 2024.
Erik ten Hag stripped him of the captaincy this summer and his pre-season performances have been poor.
Maguire not ‘elite’
The move to Manchester United was a chance for Harry Maguire to establish himself as a great defender, and while his international performances at major tournaments have been strong, at club level he has not delivered.
Michael Dawson told BBC Sport in 2019: “What makes him an £80m player is his distribution. He can bring the ball out from the back, he is comfortable in tight areas, he gets out of trouble. That is what makes him an elite player.”
Watching Maguire over the past four seasons, nobody would now argue that Maguire is ‘elite’.
His deficiencies have been exposed by United’s attacking game, whereas at West Ham, he may flourish in a more defensive-minded approach under David Moyes.