Player Feature: Harry Maguire

Full Name: Jacob Harry Maguire 

Birthdate: March 5, 1993

Birthplace: Sheffield, England 

Current Team: Manchester United

Position: Defender, Centre-Back

Shirt number: 15

Years Active: 2009 – present

Key statistics

  • Appeared on more than 300 matches
  • Has a 70% tackle success rate
  • Has a 76% dribbling success rate
  • Has a 78.1% aerial duel success rate
  • Has an 86% passing accuracy

With his concentration on the field as his strongest characteristic, Harry Maguire’s style of play can be summed up to three things. First, he likes to dribble. Second, he plays long balls more often than not. And third, he plays the ball of the ground. Maguire is an indirect set-piece threat.

Maguire has played with six other clubs namely Barnsley FC U18, Sheffield United U18, Sheffield United, Hull City, Wigan Athletic, and Leicester City. If the deal pushed through, he would be playing for the Manchester United for the 2019/2020 season. Likewise, he was once a part of the national teams: England U21 in 2012 and England in 2017.

Joining Leicester City on July 1, 2017, his contract is supposed to expire on June 30, 2023, after an extension on September 9, 2018. He was the summer transfer that people are eagerly waiting to be resolved.

His current market value was €50 million. However, Manchester United is set to sign Maguire for €80 million–a transfer that is sealed ‘imminently.’ If signed, Maguire’s transfer would be one of the most expensive defenders of all time.

He has already played in nine different major competitions including League One and Premier League where he scored nine and seven goals, respectively. 

Maguire appeared on more than 100 matches (more than 300 on all leagues) between 2009 and 2019. He had seven goals with six assists and 19 clean sheets. He was able to concede 156 goals and tackle 153 with a tackle success rate of 70% (all seasons).

The one who is confident about his moves, Maguire has a dribbling success rate of 76%  in the 2018/2019 season. This makes him the second best defender next to Juan Foyth with 86% success rate. Such attribute has always been attached to his name since he first played football professionally at 19 years old.

He had 56 passes per game on average with a passing accuracy of 86%. While this is behind the passing accuracy of Leicester City (93%) and Manchester United (89%), his average can contribute to the overall success of either team with his average passes.

His aerial duel capacities are highly reliable as well. His aerial duel success rate is 78.1%–the highest with 151 aerial duels in the same season. What he lacks in speed, he compensates with physicality. He is one of the slowest defenders in the field.

These Premier League statistics (all seasons and 2018-2019 season) alone proved Maguire’s defence and team-playing prowess. He plays out from the back as confidently as he could, making him a centre-back to vie for. 

While he may not be a ball-playing centre-back like other defenders, he has all the attributes; hence, various clubs are after him. 

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Pogba ‘Sees His Future Elsewhere’ Despite the Push for Captaincy

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer revealed he considers Paul Pogba, the Frenchman midfielder, as Mancher United’s next captain despite him being vocal about leaving this summer. Mino Raiola, Pogba’s agent, further along, is also keen on resolving his ward’s future who only wants “a new challenge somewhere else.’

Pogba is one of United’s key players this past season, providing an assist beginning the pre-season to a 2-0 victory against Perth Glory at the Optus Stadium in Australia. Pogba entered half-time while James Garner and Marcus Rashford scored the goals.

While he impressed, it was his first performance for the club since he publicly declared his desire to pursue either Juventus or Real Madrid last month. According to him, “there is no need to talk.”

While Real Madrid is equally vocal about its interest in buying him, both clubs are yet to put forward a formal bid. Scepticism grew whether either would bid for Pogba. Manchester United’s valuation of Pogba is more than £160 million.

Solskjaer, on the other hand, downplayed the idea and insisted that the United is under no pressure to sell. That is the complete opposite of Pogba’s actions as he tries to force his way out of Old Trafford before the transfer window closes on August 8.

United won’t allow Pogba to leave. The club also doubts that a club can meet the said valuation of the 26-year-old midfielder.

Amidst the brewing outgoing, Solskjaer said that the captaincy hasn’t been decided yet and promised to make an announcement when the season starts. The higher-ups still eye possibilities here and there, although the pre-season performance will form part of the assessment.

He also said that Ashley Young would wear the captain’s shirt until Manchester United decides on someone else. Young has worn the armband for a total of 30 games during the season. Antonio Valencia, the current club captain, hasn’t played since January 2.

Pogba regularly captained Manchester United, especially early in the 2018-19 season, despite clashing with Jose Mourinho who took vice-captain responsibilities. Solskjaer said about Pogba’s resuming of captaincy needs no explaining. 

Last season, Solskjaer claimed to build the team around Pogba. He would work on the basis of the midfielder remaining with Manchester United.

His only concern now is the growing influence of Pogba over the younger club players wherein he wasn’t setting an example to these players. His actions may undermine his authority as the manager since he is adamant about leaving the club as well.

Conflict within the dressing room is undeniable. The younger players are in awe of Pogba, but the more experienced players are growing weary and wary of the ‘unhealthy’ level of adoration. For the latter, Solskjaer must stop indulging the midfielder any further.

The boss also expressed dismay over the Frenchman’s decision to go public about him leaving United behind. Pogba announced on June during commercial commitment with Adidas.

Bryan Robson, a Manchester United legend, had also weighed in on the issue. He reminded Pogba, “You are contracted to Manchester United. You have to give everything for that club, that team and the fans.”

He also said that football players like him must take a good look at themselves in the mirror and decide what they want to happen with their football career. The agents can only guide them.

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Atalanta v Roma Asian Handicap Betting Preview – Sunday 20th November By @J_RKeith

Atalanta v Roma – Atleti Azzurri d’Italia at 14:00 live on BT Sport 3

Serie A is back for another week, and I have to say my last Asian Handicap betting recommendation didn’t go too well (Inter Milan, what more could you say?!), but I am now feeling confident about this one as Atalanta host AS Roma on Sunday afternoon.

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Let’s start by saying the last time these two side met in Bergamo, the match finished 3-3; Francesco Totti scoring in the 86th minute to rescue a point for the visitors. So from that, I am hoping we are in for another goal fest on Sunday! But you never know with Italian football.

Atalanta

Heading into this match and both teams are doing really well. Atalanta are sitting fifth in Serie A and has won four games on the bounce conceding only one goal in their last six games. Gian Piero Gasperini’s last fixture ending in a 3-0 win at home to Sassuolo; the visitors setting up in the popular 3-4-3 formation.

However, I look at this Atalanta side and I cannot see where their quality lies. To me, it looks like a Leicester City team of the previous season; all ready to work hard for one another. I mean, if you were to ask me what players I recognise…Alberto Paloschi…that’s it, and he can’t even get a game!

A player I am looking forward to seeing though is Ivorian Franck Kessie. The 19-year-old has played ten times for La Dea and scored four goals, as the centre-midfield could make a real difference on the weekend.
On the other hand, four defenders sit out injured for the hosts, while Andrea Conti (a right back) is suspended too, so defensively they may not be as sharp.

One thing to consider is that Atalanta sit unbeaten in their last eight matches, and the last time these suffered defeat was when they fielded a 4-2-3-1 formation. Now since they have evolved into this 3-4-3 it is looking to suit the team and manager, and I bet fans are not that upset either. Performing above expectations.

 

Asian Handicap Betting

Mohamed Salah

Roma

With Roma, I have that sense that this will be another “just missed out on the season” campaign for the title challengers. They have never been able to keep up their push for a Serie A Championship since the days of Rudi Garcia as manager, and this season I don’t see it being any different.
At the moment, Luciano Spalletti’s team remain unbeaten in their last nine games in all competitions and their last five in the Italian league. Roma’s last match finishing in a 3-0 victory at home to Bologna; Mohamed Salah bagging a hat-trick at the Stadio Olimpico.

They have no problem scoring goals either, having netted 13 in their last five matches, but a big miss for them in the summer was seeing the back of Miralem Pjanic as he went to join Italian Champions Juventus. Still, onwards and upwards. They still have quality in the likes of Kevin Strootman and underrated Belgian midfielder Radja Nainggolan.

One thing that Spalletti has done is stick to the 4-2-3-1 formation with plenty of attacking threat coming from the wings. May that be either through Salah, Diego Perotti or Stephan El Shaarawy, while the main outlet of Edin Dzeko is always a threat as he has been a striker I always thought could walk into any top European team.

One concern is that six players sit out injured, and this includes Roma legend Totti with a hip injury as the 39-year-old has no expected return date.

Conclusion

The defensive issues for Atalanta worry me because I wonder how Gasperini will set up with most of his full-backs out for this encounter. Yet, they look solid heading into this match-up. Roma, meanwhile, have always been a side I enjoy watching, but at times they just have off days and don’t perform the way you expect them too.

Overall, the price on Roma at -0.5 is one that I cannot turn down. They have the quality to perform and if they want to be seen a real title contenders now is the time to step up!

 

Asian Handicap betting recommendation: Roma -0.5 at 2.06 with Pinnacle 

 

Prices correct at time of writing.

By @J_RKeith.

 

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