Former Chesterfield schoolboy Harry Maguire enjoys dream debut for Manchester United
Former Chesterfield schoolboy Harry Maguire is in dreamland after a memorable debut for Manchester United on Sunday.
The 26-year-old England defender helped United hammer Chelsea 4-0 in their first match of the new Premier League season.
And he picked up the man-of-the-match award after proving why one of the world’s biggest clubs paid a massive £80 million fee for him.
Maguire, who went to St Mary’s Catholic High School in Upper Newbold, won rich praise from United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and also Sky Sports TV pundit, Jose Mourinho.
Solskjaer said: “He did exactly what we signed him for. He is a leader.”
Mourinho described Maguire as “like a rock” and feels his presence in the United team can become hugely significant.
The former United and Chelsea boss said: “It is very important for a team to have someone of his kind of personality.
“Someone who not only has tactical knowledge but can also read the game, is alert all the time and has the confidence to play.”
Former Chesterfield schoolboy becomes world’s most expensive defenderMaguire himself said he thoroughly enjoyed his debut, which came after he penned a six-year deal at Old Trafford and became the most expensive defender in the world.
He said: “We rode our luck a little bit in the first half,” he said. “We gave them too many chances and were sloppy on the ball.
“But in the second half, I felt we were a lot better, much more like ourselves and controlled the game.”
Maguire admitted that nerves might have contributed to his and United’s sticky start, but he quickly grew into his new role as the team’s defensive lynchpin.
Statistics showed that he made the most clearances, the most interceptions and the most blocks of any player in the game, and also won more aerial duels than anyone else.
United fans took to him instantly too, raising loud cheers when he booted the ball into the stands to clear danger midway through the second half and when he later won a booming header.
Maguire added: “I kept reiterating on the pitch that we needed to concentrate, even when we were 3-0 and 4-0 up, because we wanted that clean sheet.
“We have really got to make this place a fortress and make it hard for teams to come and score.”
Another of Sky Sports’s pundits, Gary Neville, was also impressed with Maguire. He said: “It might seem an old-fashioned principle, but it doesm’t half make a difference when your centre-halves win their headers. It spreads confidence.”