When Harry Maguire completed his £80 million move to Old Trafford, he became the most expensive defender in the world.
With that comes a massive expectation. His form in his three seasons in the Premier League, first with Hull City and then with Leicester City coupled with his rise to becoming first-choice centre-back for Gareth Southgate’s England side prompted United to make the move last summer.
Maguire so far seems to have lived up to the expectations, forming a partnership in the middle of defence with Victor Lindelof and taking the captain’s armband from Ashley Young just six months after arriving at the club.
The defender is known for his no-nonsense style coupled with an ability to play the ball out of defence, sometimes dribbling the ball up the pitch himself.
In fact, Maguire is the defender who carries the ball the most in the Premier League.
Perhaps more surprisingly is the United captain is fourth in the list of Premier League players, behind the more attacking minded Wilfried Zaha, Jack Grealish, and Adama Traore.
Playing out from the back is now seen as a fundamental part of the English game, but usually, it involves defence-splitting or spectacular cross-field passes from defenders.
However, Maguire has shown that there is another way, especially if teams arrive at Old Trafford and set up with 11 men behind the ball.
Maguire’s progressive runs with the ball could be seen to be risky, but they allow United to outnumber the opposition in midfield and force defending players to move position to engage with the defender to stop him progressing further towards their penalty area.
While Maguire was mainly bought for his defensive prowess, the captain may be also helping his teammates in an attacking sense.