Harry Maguire is currently in the midst of his worst run of form since signing for Manchester United in the summer of 2019.
The £80 million the club paid raised a few eyebrows and was largely due to his stellar form for England at the previous summer’s World Cup, where he became something of a cult figure.
His time at United has seen him largely play well but unfairly compared to fellow expensive defender Virgil Van Dijk, who offers an entirely different skillset.
But while he has been recently torn apart by fellow United captain Roy Keane, another footballing icon has actually come to his defence.
Fabio Cannavaro is one of football’s true greats and knows a thing or two about defending, and when pressed on England’s defensive options, had this to say:
“[John] Stones and Maguire have shown interesting things in recent years. They can both play football, defend and fear no one.
“They are good individually and with the rest of the backline. They are points of reference for Manchester City and Man United — and undoubtedly the two best English defenders.”
“When the going gets tough, they take responsibility and are not afraid of trying new things.”
High praise indeed from the former Ballon d’Or and World Cup winner, but he insists the two are still missing something when compared to his compatriot Giorgio Chiellini:
“But Chiellini still embodies the spirit of the Italian defender and that level of concentration needed to stop a striker in a difficult moment.”
“Maguire and Stones play a totally different type of football and may lack a nasty streak at times. Which Giorgio has.”
Maguire would do well to listen to the Italian and block out some of the unfair abuse he regularly receives, at his best he is a fine defender for both club and country.