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Harry Maguire is allready proving to be 17 million well-spent by Leicester City

DATE: 25.08.2017 - THE CUNNING FOX - NEWSDESK

 

A number of sceptics scoffed at the 17million price tag that came attached to Harry Maguire this summer but Leicester City took the gamble and so far, it appears to be paying off.

Sheffield-born defender has been outstanding during the Foxes' opening two Premier League matches and has been rewarded with an England call-up.
 

Maguire has been named in Gareth Southgate's England squad for the upcoming World Cup Qualifiers against Malta and Slovakia alongside Jordan Pickford and Nathaniel Chalobah and thoroughly deserves his chance at International level.




Source: Sky Sports News via Twitter

The 24-year-old made the move from Humberside this summer after impressing in a poor Hull side who were relegated back to the Championship despite an upturn in results during the second half of the campaign.

Maguire required a club record fee to secure his services but he's certainly justifying his price tag so far. It's still early days in his Leicester career and the centre-back is still developing his game but Maguire looks confident on the ball and doesn't mind putting his body on the line for his new employers.

He's already proven a nuisance from set pieces and claimed an assist in his debut. His aeriel threat cannot be underestimated as Arsenal found out on the opening weekend of the season when they left Maguire largely unmarked allowing him to nod back across for team-mate Shinji Okazaki to fire Leicester level.

It was a tremendously spirited performance from Craig Shakespeare's charges who were unlucky to leave the Emirates with nothing to show for their endeavours. Despite the scoreline, it proved to be an encouraging debut for the new recruit.

The Foxes bounced back and took out their frustrations just eight days later during their first home match of the season at the King Power Stadium with a comfortable 2-0 victory over Premier League newcomers Brighton.

Shinji Okazaki netted with just one minute on the clock before Harry Maguire stepped forward and netted his first goal in a Leicester shirt. It was the perfect way of endearing yourself to the home fans and he thoroughly deserved all of the plaudits.

Maguire also registered his first clean sheet of the season with the Seagulls looking rather blunt in attack. Shakespeare's men have an excellent home record in the Premier League and they were correctly tipped by Oddschecker to claim their first victory of the season at the KP and keep a clean sheet in the process.

The next visitors to Leicestershire are champions Chelsea on the 9th September with Maguire and fellow defenders likely to face a much busier afternoon against Antonio Conte's men. 

 

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The defender started his career at Bramall Lane with Sheffield United where he broke into the first team during the latter half of the 2010/11 season featuring five times. He made his debut from the bench during the Blades' 2-0 defeat at the hands of Cardiff on the 12th April 2011 before playing a full 90 minutes against Preston North End just four days later.

He went on to make 166 appearances for his hometown club before eventually being snapped up by Hull for around 2.8 million in the summer of 2014.

Maguire's new club were drawn against his former employers in the 2nd round of the Carabao Cup and he played 81 minutes against the Blades on the 22nd of August. Another stellar performance helped the Foxes emerge comfortable 4-1 winners against the Championship outfit courtesy of a double from the forgotten man, Islam Slimani.

Their reward is a home tie against Jurgen Klopps' Liverpool on the week commencing 18th of September and the two clubs meet again at the King Power just four days later in the Premier League.


The new recruit already appears to have a forged a rock-solid partnership with Wes Morgan. The Foxes' captain, who was an integral part of the title winning side under Claudio Ranieri appears to have a decent understanding with the former Hull man and is prepared to sit back whenever Maguire opts to bring the ball into midfield.

Maguire is seen as an upgrade on Robert Huth by
many Foxes fans with the German defender currently on the sidelines after suffering an ankle injury which also kept him out of pre-season training.

The Huth-Morgan partnership helped keep four clean sheets in last season's UEFA Champions League and the former Middlesbrough and Stoke centre-back is still likely to have a big part to play at the club this campaign. He got 60 minutes under his belt in an Under 23s match earlier this week and is on the comeback trail.


Source: New York Foxes via Twitter

Maguire has received praise from a number of television and radio pundits this season including former team-mate Alex Bruce who confidently proclaimed that the big defender could be the signing of the summer and is "Everything you want" from a centre-half.

Ironically, it was Bruce's presence in the Tiger's defence which prevented him from breaking into the starting eleven during their Championship campaign and prompted a short loan spell at Wigan Athletic.

Middlesbrough were just one of a number of clubs sniffing around Maguire last summer following the Tiger's promotion to the top flight but he opted to remain in Humberside and fight for his place in the team. It is believed that the Hull hierarchy would have accepted around 4-5 million for the Sheffield-born star just 12 months ago.

The Foxes face a tricky run of games either side of the forthcoming International break. Craig Shakespeare's charges travel to Old Trafford to take on an unbeaten Manchester United side before hosting champions Chelsea at the King Power on the 9th of September.

Premier League newcomers Huddersfield are next up with the West Yorkshire outfit yet to concede a goal since securing promotion from the Championship before the aforementioned back-to-back meetings with Liverpool. Maguire is set for busy September as he aims to stop the likes of Alvaro Morata and Roberto Firmino from getting on the scoresheet.

Maguire was one of five summer signings for the Foxes with former Hull team-mate Eldin Jakupovic arriving to provide competition for the impressive Kasper Schmeichel between the sticks. Sam Hughes joined from Chester FC whilst Vincente Iborra is tasked with providing more steel in the centre of the park following his arrival from last season's UEFA Champions League opponents Sevilla.

Finally, Kelechi Iheanacho, who was linked heavily with West Ham this summer arrives on loan from Manchester City and has a terrific goalscoring record in the Premier League despite his relative inexperience at the age of 20.

 

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Iborra is yet to feature in the Premier League due to injury whilst Iheanacho has played just eight minutes from the bench given a cameo against Arsenal but wasn't named in the squad for the clash with the Seagulls. Maguire has barely missed a minute since his arrival.

His new boss believes he can continue his progression and has even tipped the centre-back to be a future England captain when asked about his recent call-up before going on to praise the club's recruitment policy.

Maguire has already featured once for the England Under 21s and will be hoping to claim his first cap in the upcoming World Cup Qualifiers which take place on the 1st and 4th of September. Shakespeare also praised his new signing's "level head" and suggested "he will take it all in his stride".

With transfer fees vastly inflated this summer, the 17million coughed up by Leicester looks one of the best pieces of business conducted by a Premier League club during this window as Maguire has made an instant impact at the club.

Shakespeare's men face a tricky run of fixtures throughout August and September but appear extremely unlikely to be sucked into any form of relegation battle this time around and, with Maguire and Morgan at the helm, they should be defensively sound this season.


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