Sunday, August 18, 2019

Maguire backed for Van Dijk-like impact at Man United by Liverpool great Souness

SoccerNews in English Premier League 3 Aug 2019

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Harry Maguire’s imminent signing for Manchester United could prove to be a game-changer akin to Liverpool buying Virgil van Dijk, according to Anfield great Graeme Souness.

England international Maguire has long been linked with some of the biggest clubs in the Premier League, with United and Manchester City emerging as the front-runners following the conclusion of last season.

But after weeks of speculation, Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers confirmed on Friday the Foxes and United had reached an agreement over a fee for the centre-back.

United are reported to be paying £80million, which will see Maguire usurp Liverpool star Van Dijk as the world’s most expensive defender, having arrived at the Reds for an estimated £75m in January 2018.

Many baulked at the fee paid for Van Dijk at the time, but he was instrumental in turning Liverpool into Champions League winners and pushing City all the way in the Premier League title race last term.

And Liverpool icon Souness expects Maguire to have a huge impact at Old Trafford.

Speaking to Omnisport at Brighton and Hove Pride on behalf of PaddyPower, Souness said: “I’m a big fan, they’re the best two centre-backs out there at this time.

“I really like Maguire. Anyone who gets him, well that’s now United, he will improve them. Will it be five per cent, two per cent, 10 per cent?

“Van Dijk, along with the Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson, they improved Liverpool enormously. All of a sudden, they weren’t vulnerable at the back and that spreads throughout the team, and you become a far more solid unit.

“Liverpool are right now a team that doesn’t have any obvious weaknesses. If you’re playing against them, who do you target?

“I suppose United have to get back to being that, a team no one likes playing against. Certainly, last year people enjoyed playing against them because they were vulnerable.

“I suppose United will be hoping Maguire does a Van Dijk and brings them all along, makes everyone feel better about themselves and play better.”

Graeme Souness was talking to Omnisport on behalf of PaddyPower’s Come Out and Play campaign and Proud United, a team of LGBTQ footballers from across the United Kingdom working to tackle homophobia in football.

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