Gary Neville believes Manchester United have found their new Roy Keane in centre-back Harry Maguire.
Last night, United slumped to a 4-2 defeat at the hands of bitter rivals Liverpool to mark back-to-back losses in the Premier League over the last three days. The Leicester defeat could be put down to the wholesale changes made my manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, however, the defeat to Liverpool will have been much tougher to take for fans.
Harry Maguire’s absence was a notable blow before kick-off for United, an omission that had a clear impact on the back four.
When speaking to Sky Sports, Neville compared Maguire’s impact to that of former captain, Roy Keane.
“I played with players at Manchester United, individual players, Roy Keane was one of them in the studio, that when they don’t play it unnerves a whole team,” he said.
“The lack of presence of Harry Maguire in that defence is just obvious for all to see.
“People will question, ‘how good really is Harry Maguire?’ But you only really see it when he’s not playing.
“What we’re seeing tonight is a very frantic defence.”
Maguire has been an ever-present in United’s defence this season, racking up an astonishing 6,467 league minutes out of a possible 6,660. His run has been vital in his side securing 13 clean sheets in the league, the fourth most in the rankings.
After defeat to Liverpool, Solskjaer praised the defender’s impact this campaign: “Of course when a player is a leader, a captain, who has the status of him, his presence is missed,
“We’ve got good players to come in. It’s a chance for everyone to take on that little bit of leadership.”
United’s captain now faces a race to be back in time for the Europa League showdown with Villarreal on May 26.
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