Giorgio Chiellini believes that Harry Maguire is being unfairly criticised and “too much” is expected of him because of his 2019 transfer fee. Then, the Red Devils paid a humongous £80 million transfer fee to Leicester City to acquire his services.
Fast forward to 2022 and while Maguire started the first two games of the season, he was then dropped from the starting line-up. Even though he was backed to remain as the captain of the team, he finds himself as the third-choice centre-back under Erik ten Hag.
Currently, Maguire is with the England international squad for their upcoming Nations League games against Italy and Germany.
Speaking to The Times, the legendary Italian defender Chiellini expressed sympathy for United’s skipper.
He said, “I am sad for Maguire’s situation because he is a good player.
“They [Manchester United] require too much of him. Just because they paid £80m for him, he has to be the best in the world every match? It’s not right.
“The value of the market is dependent on many aspects you can’t control. It’s not your fault.
“OK, Maguire maybe is not Rio Ferdinand but he’s good enough. With this situation, it’s not helping [England] to do the best.
“If you want to win the World Cup it’s impossible to do it with some problems in the key players, and for sure Maguire is one of the key players of the team.”
Harry Maguire deserves fair criticism for his awful displays
Without a doubt, a transfer fee as huge as £80m will add more pressure on any player.
But Maguire’s performances look equally poor even after imagining that he came in on half of the original price.
The 29-year-old seems to be a better player in an England jersey as compared to that of United.
This is primarily because of the system the Three Lions operate in.
Gareth Southgate prefers to have a back three. This gives additional security to Maguire who lacks pace.
Even if he is caught off his position, there are two more centre-backs to cover for him.
On the other hand, Man United plays with a traditional back four.
His lack of mobility and acceleration often leaves a lot of space behind for the attackers to run into.
Chiellini might feel sad for his rival centre-back but his horrific performances haven’t helped him.
This international break gives the former Leicester defender to prove his worth and knock on Ten Hag’s door to get back his starting spot in the XI.