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Why is Harry Maguire so sought after by Man Utd and Man City?

Leicester City have turned down Manchester United’s £70m bid for Maguire, Sky Sports News understands

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Take a look at why Leicester’s Harry Maguire finds himself at the centre of a tug of war between rivals Manchester City and Manchester United.

The tug of war for Harry Maguire could be the saga of the summer transfer window, but why are Manchester United and Manchester City so keen on the Leicester defender?

Leicester City have turned down Manchester United's £70m bid for the England defender, Sky Sports News understands.

Talks between both Manchester clubs and Leicester have been ongoing for several weeks but, as yet, a deal is still thought to be some way from being agreed. But where could he end up if City also go all out?

Most expensive defenders of all time

Virgil van Dijk £75m
Lucas Hernandez £68m
Aymeric Laporte £57m
Benjamin Mendy £52m
Kyle Walker £50m
John Stones £50m
Aaron Wan-Bissaka £50m*
*with add-ons

Here, we look at how Maguire's defensive statistics may give an indication as to where he would fit best and how his numbers stack up against the rest of the Premier League...

'Maguire has the attributes'

Maguire's confidence in stepping out from defence caught Leicester's eye when the Yorkshireman was at Hull, and that attribute has stuck with the 26-year-old - his dribbling success rate is the second highest among any defender in the Premier League.

Premier League centre-backs 2018/19

Player Dribbles attempted Success rate
Juan Foyth 22 86%
Harry Maguire 21 76%
Sol Bamba 20 70%

Maguire's aerial duel success rate is also the highest among any Premier League defender, a trait referenced in song by England fans during the Nations League.

Premier League centre-backs 2018/19

Player Aerial duels Aerial duel success
Harry Maguire 151 78.1%
Virgil van Dijk 243 74.9%
Shane Duffy 259 72.6%
Phil Jones 64 71.9%
Joel Matip 94 70.2%

Sky Sports' Gary Neville feels Maguire has all the qualities needed to be a modern centre-back, and places him on the same level as other defenders in terms of confidence in playing out from the back.

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Harry Maguire during the Premier League match between Southampton FC and Leicester City at St Mary's Stadium on August 25, 2018 in Southampton, United Kingdom.
Image: Maguire was outstanding for Leicester last season

Speaking on The Gary Neville Podcast, he said: "If you think of the attributes of centre-backs, he has them in abundance. Leicester fans won't thank me for this, but they're going to be under real pressure to keep him this summer.

"We talk about John Stones being good on the ball, I actually think Maguire is the equal of him on the ball. A big statement, maybe, as Stones is seen as the composed, ball-playing centre-back, but I think Maguire is just as good on the ball."

United or City?

Maguire is thought to be one of a number of central defenders being considered by City to replace Vincent Kompany, Sky Sports News understands.

City may be looking for two defenders, with Nicolas Otamendi likely to leave the Etihad in search of a regular starting role.

However, both Aymeric Laporte and Maguire are left-sided centre-backs, meaning one would need to budge to the right.

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United have upped their interest in Maguire after interest City, according to the Good Morning Transfers panel

Interestingly, in the City documentary 'All or Nothing', Pep Guardiola highlighted one of Maguire's weaknesses in behind-the-scenes footage, telling Kevin De Bruyne to target the defender because he is "not fast".

"Find that situation because the guy [Maguire] is not fast… you will find space here."

Though City are champions, and finished 32 points above United last season, could Old Trafford be better suited to Maguire's style? City may stop at 'no' before United, given Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's need for a defensive overhaul, and Tuesday's news of a £70m bid proves that.

Here, we compare Maguire's stats with City and United's centre-backs from the 2018/19 Premier League season.


We know City like to play from the back; their defenders average 77 passes per game compared to United's 42. Maguire is used to being on the ball more than he would be at United, but it would be a step up at the Etihad.

His 86 per cent passing accuracy is three per cent lower than United's centre backs, and seven per cent lower than City's.

Average passes per game (PL 18/19)

Man City centre-backs 77
Harry Maguire 56
Man Utd centre-backs 42

Passing accuracy (PL 18/19)

Man City centre-backs 93%
Man Utd centre-backs 89%
Harry Maguire 86%

Physicality and tackling

A strength Maguire would bring to both sides is his physicality. His duel success of 73 per cent is the second highest in the Premier League - only behind Virgil van Dijk - and would be a welcome improvement for both teams.

Harry Maguire in action for Leicester
Image: Maguire's duel success rate is the second highest in the Premier League, and his aerial duel success rate is the highest

Slightly less impressive is his tackle success rate. At 55 per cent, it's in line with City's average, but poorer than United's.

Duel success (PL 18/19)

Harry Maguire 73%
Man Utd centre-backs 66%
Man City centre-backs 63%

Tackle success (PL 18/19)

Man Utd centre-backs 63%
Man City centre-backs 56%
Harry Maguire 55%


Maguire would want to eradicate this stat from his game. He made four errors that led to shots last year, one resulting in a goal. That's the same as City's four centre backs combined, while United's defenders made eight in total.

Errors leading to shots (PL 18/19)

Man Utd centre-backs (combined) 8
Man City centre-backs (combined) 4
Harry Maguire 4

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