Can Harry Maguire be Jose Mourinho's new John Terry?
There are few better places to showcase your talents than at a World Cup. Every season after the major tournament, there's always a handful of players whose reputation grows so much that it earns them a move higher up the football food chain. One such footballer, who has shown himself to be approaching the top level is Leicester City and England defender, Harry Maguire.
Maguire has had a meteoric rise in the game. At the time of the 2014 World Cup, The Englishman had just completed a third consecutive season in League One with his hometown club, Sheffield United. Later that summer he moved to Hull City, then of the Premier League, but he struggled at first and was loaned out to Wigan Athletic in the Championship.
After Hull were relegated in 2017, Maguire moved to Leicester and his career has moved forward at a rapid pace since. The 25-year-old made his England debut in their final World Cup qualifier and he has become a regular in Gareth Southgate's team from there on out. In Russia, he managed to enhance his reputation even more with some excellent displays; proving a vital cog in a Three Lions side that made the semi-finals.
It has now emerged that Manchester United are interested in signing Maguire and have made initial contact with Leicester to discuss the possibility of a deal. Jose Mourinho has been looking to improve his defence and it has been suggested for a while now that Maguire might be a player that would interest the Portuguese man. The suggestion that the self-proclaimed Special One has made the Foxes centre-half his primary defensive target tells you everything you need to know about his abilities.
It's easy to see what Mourinho sees in the Leicester star. Maguire is almost a clone of his former captain at Chelsea, John Terry. Maguire is a little taller than Terry but both men are at their best in a physical duel; coming from the old school style of defending, where if it moves you kick it, and if it doesn't move you kick it until it does.
Maguire has a long way to go before he emulates the career that Terry had, but he is a similar age now to what Terry was when Mourinho arrived at Stamford Bridge. Mourinho was able to get that little bit extra out of Terry to make him a truly elite defender, and there's no doubt that should United get the Maguire deal across the line, that Mourinho would have similar hopes for the Yorkshire-born centre-back.
Leicester now have an opportunity to make a statement with Maguire. They have been English champions more recently than United, but they wouldn't have anything like the same financial resources as the Old Trafford club. It is believed that they are interested in signing Maguire to a new contract which would be a huge boost; but for most footballers, United are a hard team to turn down.
If United are to get their man they will have to spend upwards of £60million which is a huge amount for a defender. However, if Mourinho can get from Maguire what he got from Terry then the deal would be worth every penny and it would bring United a step closer to their city rivals at the summit of English football.