Chiellini: It's not Maguire's fault Man Utd paid £80m

FT Desk
FT Desk
  • 22 Sept 2022 07:21 BST
  • 3 min read
Harry Maguire, Man Utd, 2022-23

Harry Maguire has been dropped by Manchester United despite being club captain. Italy legend Giorgio Chiellini thinks criticism of the England centre-back is unfair.

Erik ten Hag re-confirmed Maguire as Man Utd club captain on succeeding Ralf Rangnick in the Old Trafford hot seat, but the recent upturn in results - which has included wins over Liverpool and Arsenal - have seen Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez partnered at centre-back.

Maguire has come in for fierce criticism from sections of the media, with many drawing attention to the fact that until Wesley Fofana's summer 2022 move from Leicester to Chelsea, he was the most expensive defender of all time.

United paid Leicester £80m/€91.5m in 2019, but he made 16 errors leading to a goal last season.

England play Italy in the UEFA Nations League on Friday, and Chiellini - who played for Italy against Maguire's England in the final of Euro 2020 - has leapt to his defence.

Chiellini: 'sad for Maguire'

"I'm sad for Maguire's situation because he's a good player," the long-time Juventus centre-back, now of LAFC, told the Times.

"They require too much of him. Just because they paid £80 million for him, he has to be the best in the world every match? It's not right. The value of the market is dependent on many aspects you can't control. It's not your fault.

"If you want to win the World Cup it's impossible to do it with some problems in the key players, and for sure Maguire is one of the key players of the team."

Now 38, Chiellini has retired from international duty, but Maguire is expected to line up at the San Siro on Friday, even if Fikayo Tomori has been impressing at the very same venue for AC Milan over the last two seasons.