Transfer fees are so ridiculous in the modern game that nobody knows what represents a good deal anymore. It really just comes down to how well the player does. Someone like Virgil van Dijk seemed incredibly expensive but now actually seems like a bargain.
Harry Maguire has been fine for Man United this season without transforming the team. In fairness he simply had to do better than Chris Smalling and Phil Jones to look like a positive move, but his price tag still seems extortionate.
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According to a report from The Sun, United actually wanted to sign a much cheaper alternative before giving in and agreeing to pay Leicester £80m for the England defender.
They claim that they made a bid of around £26m to sign Merih Demiral from Juventus but the deal was rejected. The Turkish defender is only 21 so that signing would be a good fit for the type of player that Solskjaer has been trying to bring in. He only actually signed for Juve this summer but hasn’t featured yet, so perhaps United thought he could be available.
It’s really hard to try and say that Maguire has been an actual success so far. The team hasn’t been playing well and it’s not like he’s been a standout leader at the back who drags them through games.
Despite that, it looks like he would have to play like some sort of super hero to lift this team right now. They are completely devoid of inspiration or creativity going forward. They can’t score goals and it leaves the defence looking exposed.
It does indicate that the club really didn’t want to pay so much to bring a defender in, perhaps they were left with no choice after missing out on other targets.