It’s understandable that Harry Maguire gets so much extra scrutiny because he cost £80m, but the team found out how much they miss him towards the end of last season when he was injured.
The problem is that he’s not the complete defender – he’s slow and he lacks some agility, while the current squad isn’t built to get the best out of him as neither Lindelof or Bailly are good enough to be the perfect partner for him.
One player who could be an ideal signing this summer is Raphael Varane from Real Madrid, but there are suggestions that he may prefer a move to PSG over United so it’s not clear if it could really happen.
The Get French Football News Twitter account was previewing France’s Euro 2020 opener tonight, and this part actually shows why he would be such a good fit at Old Trafford:
Raphaël Varane is used to playing with a “pressing central defender” for France in the form of Samuel Umtiti, but the Barcelona man did not take as many risks in trying early move interceptions as Presnel Kimpembe likes to do. Kimpembe is however more athletic than Umtiti.
— Get French Football News (@GFFN) June 15, 2021
Varane can handle himself in the air but his main strength is an exceptional ability to read the game, so you want him to be the player who will step in behind to sweep up any loose balls and cover any errors that happen in front of him.
Maguire is currently stuck trying to deal with his own man, looking out for mistakes from his partner so he sometimes has to stand off and that can expose his weaknesses, so Varane could bring out the best in him.
Maguire’s main strength in many ways is his strength and aggression – if he can step forward to get tight on his man and outmuscle him then he’s going to look great, and adding Varane would allow him to focus on what he does best.
Of course you can argue that an £80m player shouldn’t need that much help but the price tag is United’s fault rather than Maguire’s, so the fans need to hope that they do get the ideal partner for him next season so that defensive unit suddenly looks like something to fear for opposing attackers.