Harry Maguire has endured a difficult start to life as Manchester United’s new permanent captain.
The 26-year-old, who became the world’s most expensive defender in the summer when United forked out £80 million for his services, has now led his team in back-to-back defeats against Liverpool and Burnley since taking the armband from Ashley Young.
The Liverpool defeat wasn’t a shock - Jurgen Klopp’s team are probably the best in the world right now - but the same can’t be said about Wednesday night’s loss to Burnley.
Goals either side of half-time from Chris Wood and Jay Rodriguez earned Burnley their first win over United at Old Trafford since 1962.
And some fans pinned the blame for both goals on the former Leicester City star.
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Maguire was beaten to the flick-on for the first goal by Wood, who dispatched the ball past David de Gea on the half-volley.
He then allowed Rodriguez to get away too easily for the second goal. However, both Phil Jones and De Gea must take equal (if not more) responsibility for that one.
Maguire was trending on Twitter after the match, with both United fans and non-United fans questioning whether the England international has been a waste of money so far.
Meanwhile, a clip from one United supporter from earlier this season has gone viral over the past few days.
The gentleman in question, speaking after United narrowly avoided a shock defeat against Rochdale in the League Cup back in September, was mocked for claiming Chris Smalling was a better defender than Maguire and should never have been allowed to join AS Roma on loan.
“Everyone’s raving about the players [Solskjaer] has bought… trust me, trust me. Chris Smalling’s gone to Roma, what did we get for him? £2 million for the year? Chris Smalling’s better than Harry Maguire, I’m telling you that for a fact!
“Listen, I hope I can get a copy of this because I want to come back.”
The reaction of his fellow United fans in the background said it all. They thought he was talking absolute nonsense.
But fast-forward four months and, well, perhaps he was bang on the money after all.
Smalling is enjoying a decent season in Serie A and, according to WhoScored, is Roma’s third-best performing player this term.
Maguire’s reputation, on the other hand, has taken a bit of a nose-dive recently.
Rio Ferdinand also said on BT Sport following the Burnley game that Smalling - United’s “best defender”, according to the former world-class centre-back - should have been kept at Old Trafford.
“Chris Smalling, the best defender, if you’re talking about actual defending, is the best defender at the club and they’ve let him go,” he said. “I don’t understand it.”News Now - Sport News