Virgil van Dijk might not be the most expensive defender in history for much longer.
Jaws hit the floor when Liverpool forked out £75 million for Dutchman midway through the 2017-18 season, but his performances ever since have silenced all of the doubters.
On current form, there can be no denying Van Dijk’s status as the best defender in the world and he finished the campaign with the PFA Player of the Year award to his name.
He also went an entire club season without being dribbled past, despite facing the likes of Lionel Messi and Neymar, as well as lifting the Champions League trophy in Madrid.
The moral of the story is that £75 million was a fair price, but how does a world-record fee of £80 million sound for Harry Maguire? You wouldn’t be alone in feeling skeptical.
MAN UTD AGREE MAGUIRE DEAL
Rumours and reports have rumbled on all summer about the Leicester City man making a move and it seems Manchester United have pulled clear of their city rivals now.
According to The Mirror, the clubs have reached an agreement over a world-record fee and that Maguire will fly to Manchester for his medical on Monday.
It’s detailed that the Red Devils will pay an initial £60 million, but add-ons totalling £20 million will be sufficient to push the fee past Liverpool’s Van Dijk investment.
COMPARING VAN DIJK AND MAGUIRE
So, that’s all well and good, but how do the two defenders compare? After all, while you would expect Van Dijk to have the upper hand, Maguire is still one of the Premier League’s best.
Well, we keyed their performances last season into the official Premier League website to compare their statistics and despite Maguire having more defending to do, it was simply no contest.
Aside from penalties conceded and last man tackles, it was a landslide victory for the Liverpool man and the full statistic breakdown can be assessed down below:
Sorry Harry, but there’s simply no competing with Liverpool’s talisman.
Sure, the comparison isn’t exactly a massive slight on Maguire, but the huge money that Leicester are demanding makes it inevitably that his performances will go under the microscope.
It also suggests that Maguire might not go on to become the world-beater that Van Dijk has established himself as, but United fans will still see him as an improvement.
The club’s fanbase has become frustrated with Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Ashley Young; especially considering they have all been given new contracts.
However, in purchasing Maguire, they would be freshening up their back four and making their first establishing signing of the summer after picking up Daniel James and Aaron Wan-Bissaka.
Fans will just have to keep their fingers crossed that the £80 million price tag doesn’t ramp up the pressure too much. Watch this space.