English Premiership

Maguire backed to have Van Dijk effect at United

Harry Maguire (Getty Images)
Harry Maguire (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Jonny Evans has been backed former team-mate Harry Maguire to have a similar impact at Manchester United to what Virgil van Dijk has achieved at Liverpool.

United paid a world record fee for a defender last week when they took England international Maguire to Old Trafford for £80 million.

And he looked composed in the backline on his debut on Sunday as he helped Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side keep a first clean sheet since February as they thrashed Chelsea 4-0 in their Premier League opener.

Evans, who helped the Foxes keep a clean sheet in a 0-0 draw against Wolves earlier on Sunday, watched Maguire's opening game for his new club and immediately insisted that he "is tailor-made for Man United, it was a great move for him. He’s a player they needed".

The 31-year-old Northern Ireland international is well qualified to speak about what is needed at the Theatre of Dreams given that he spent nine years at the club and made just under 200 appearances.

In that time Evans spent time away on loan at Royal Antwerp and Sunderland respectively, but still helped United pick up three Premier League titles, two League Cups a Club World Cup medal under the leadership of Sir Alex Ferguson.

United will now be their current squad will be a capable of challenging for a first title since 2012-13 this season and Evans is in no doubt that Maguire can help them achieve that target.

Liverpool were criticised in some quarters when they paid £75 million for Van Dijk from Southampton in January 2018.

But the Dutch international central played a key role in helping Jurgen Klopp’s side win the Champions League last season, while they picked up 97 points in the Premier League as Manchester City pipped them to the title by just a point.

And, when comparing the duo, Evans said: "Both are great on the ball, and Harry has got explosive pace people don’t see.

"He is powerful, good in the air. Everyone will compare the transfer fees but it's so difficult to judge transfer fees nowadays.

"We are all human and it is weird we get traded for money. In the transfer market it’s all supply and demand and things can go up and down at any moment.

"The most important thing is for him to be judged on how he plays. I don’t have any worries about him there."

Tue 07 Jul 20 19:00 PM (SAST)
Crystal Palace
Selhurst Park
Tue 07 Jul 20 19:00 PM (SAST)
Norwich City
Vicarage Road
Tue 07 Jul 20 21:15 PM (SAST)
Leicester City
Emirates Stadium
Mon 06 Jul 20
Tottenham Hotspur 1
Everton 0
Sun 05 Jul 20
Southampton 1
Manchester City 0
Sun 05 Jul 20
Liverpool 2
Aston Villa 0
1. Liverpool
2. Manchester City
3. Leicester City
4. Chelsea