The signing of this £80m-rated England star makes no sense – opinion
Man City would likely have to break their transfer record to sign Harry Maguire and would become just the fourth best centre half at the club. If the rumours are believed to be true and you follow the odds at Betway88, the deal might just happen.
Aymeric Laporte has adapted incredibly well to English football and has rightly become the first choice for the heart of Pep Guardiola’s defence. John Stones (Nations League error aside) is coming to a good age for a defender and despite limited game time last season he’s perfectly suited to Pep’s way of playing. Nicolas Otamendi is the central defender most like Maguire already at The Etihad in that he would be the defender tasked with giving the ball to the other, better passer in the backline (Stones and Laporte) and be expected to win the ball most often.
Even then it would take the Englishman a big jump to reach the level of Otamendi.
In some ways a deal to bring the England World Cup hero to Manchester makes sense: It would be another player that fits the homegrown quota for side who always have to be wary of meeting the minimum requirement; He is quite like the departing Vincent Kompany, and the Belgian showed his worth towards the end of the season; the list ends there.
Maguire is a good player but isn’t the central defender that a club with serious aspirations of winning the Champions League and a third Premier League title in a row next season should realistically be looking at, especially at a world-record fee for a defender. Liverpool have shown what having the best defender in the world can do to transform a team. Will Maguire realistically take City to the level current world’s most expensive defender Virgil Van Dijk has taken Liverpool? Betway are making City favourites for the Premier League title again but it’s the Champions League they need to conquer.
The other side of it is do City really need to look outward for someone to be their fourth choice central defender? Fernandinho has been rumoured to take a step back from the enforcer role in midfield if Rodri signs from Atletico and drop into the defence, a wise move for someone who started look 34-years-old towards the end of the season.
At the opposite end of his career is 18-year-old Eric Garcia. The ball-playing former La Masia defender impressed in the League Cup against Leicester and twice against Burton Albion. Despite his age, it would make sense for Garcia to become a more permanent member of the first team and be afforded more minutes in games where City will face little pressure from weaker opposition. When you look at the success of Matthijs De Ligt at Ajax at 19 it makes you wonder if you’ll see clubs opt to give younger defenders a chance when experience had been preferred to talent in that position in the past in this country.
Man City have plentiful options to cover for the outgoing Vincent Kompany and could do themselves a favour by saving that £80 million earmarked for Maguire but at the end of the day money really is no object to the owners.