Harry Maguire is worth only half his transfer fee: Stan Collymore, Latest Football News - The New Paper

Harry Maguire is worth only half his transfer fee: Stan Collymore

Van Dijk offers a warning and advice to world's most expensive defender

Manchester United's new centre-back Harry Maguire must learn to cope with the burden of being the world's most expensive defender, according to Virgil van Dijk.

The Dutchman should know, having preceded United's new £80 million (S$134.3m) signing from Leicester City as the costliest defender when he joined Liverpool from Southampton for £75 million last year.

The 28-year-old Champions League winner told British media that the price tag was not something Maguire, 26, had any influence over, but there would be no escaping the attention it would bring.

"The price comes with pressure, but it doesn't change too much because you always have pressure at big clubs like Man United,"said van Dijk.

"It's not easy to completely shut off all the pressure."

Explaining how he coped with his own hefty price tag, the Reds centre-back said: "The pressure will always be there.

"Just focus on doing what you love to do and play your best game... don't think about the other things.

"If opponents have a go during the game because you cost that much, what can you do? I'm not listening to them. It does not change anything in my head."

Ex-Reds striker Stan Collymore, however, insists that Maguire is not in the same league as van Dijk and is worth just half his transfer fee.

He wrote in his Daily Mirror column: "He is not in the same class as... Virgil van Dijk.

"For a British central defender with leadership qualities, Harry fits the bill.

"But if you want premium quality to push you to a title or Champions League, then van Dijk is your man.

"Maguire, even in an expensive market, is overpriced and United have paid twice the price of his realistic value."

Ex-United defender Paul McGrath, meanwhile, said his former club should have signed Napoli centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly rather than Maguire.

He wrote in his column for the Irish Independent: "I'd have preferred United to make a Red Devil out of Kalidou Koulibaly... ahead of Maguire.

"But I understand why the club went Maguire's way instead. He's two years younger and Koulibaly is Senegalese, which would have forced United to buy an English player in another position where they might want to import a player.

"I would also trust that United will put in a system at the back to cover Maguire's big weakness...


"Harry likes to carry the ball out - something all the top clubs look to encourage. But when the tactic goes wrong, as it occasionally must, he doesn't have the blinding pace of van Dijk or Real Madrid's Raphael Varane to get back and tidy up."

However, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola believes the addition of Maguire makes United title contenders. He said: "Maguire is a top-class player... United with Maguire, Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham have done well in pre-season, there'll be many contenders (for the league title)."