Harry Maguire

Harry Maguire
Image from: zimbio.com

Harry Maguire

Current Club: Hull City.

Previous Clubs: Sheffield United, Barnsley (youth academy).

Loan Club: Wigan Athletic.

International: England U21.

Maguire has the look of an old-fashioned lump of a centre back, big and burly and not the quickest. However looks are very deceptive in his case. While he is capable of mixing it and not afraid of a physical contest, Maguire is not one to just look for a quick hoof upfield. Maguire is very much a ball-playing centre half.

As has been highlighted in numerous videos on YouTube and highlights packages on Match of the Day, Maguire loves to win the ball and then charge up field on a run. Unfortunately he has yet to learn the art of when and how to release the ball on his runs. Instead he tends to just keep crashing through challenges until he loses the ball, or plays it to an opposing player, leaving a huge gaping hole in the defence to be countered.

He can not be faulted for his desire and willingness to put his body on the line with blocks and tackles, but his positional sense often leads to a need for those last ditch blocks and tackles. A better sense of where to be positionally would often mean he could cut out the pass before it reached the attacker or remove the opportunity for the pass at all.

The way he looks has been a problem for Maguire in the past, who was dismissed by many for being slow, because he looks like a lumbering brute of a player, when he is actually not that slow. While he is never going to win a footrace against the quicker forwards, Maguire is not the slowest at all. Unfortunately, he does have a tendency to be thinking so much about getting forward that he forgets to position himself to block a quick forward from running off the back of him. That will leave him foundering in the wake, if a good ball is slipped through, making him look even slower.

Most of Maguire's issues and weaknesses are ones he can, with good coaching, iron out as he gains experience and learns when to drop off and defend and when to close an opponent down and look to snatch a ball and get forward. Right now, he always looks for the latter option and the better teams exposed that tendency repeatedly.

With his size, strength, good aerial ability and technical ability on the ball, good enough that he can cover at right back when needed, Maguire has all the attributes to be an excellent Premier League centre half. When/if he learns to release the ball early on his marauding runs, rather than holding on to it and losing it, to think of stopping goals being scored first then how to get forward afterwards, he will be excellent. Right now he is just a decent defender who looks good on highlight reels.