West Ham agreed a fee with Manchester United yesterday for centre-half Harry Maguire believed to be in the region of £30m and with personal terms also set to be thrashed out soon, the 30-year-old England international could officially be a Hammer before the weekend.
Maguire’s fall from grace in Manchester has been dramatic over the past 18 months with the defender going from club captain and automatic starter to the fifth-choice option in his position under Dutch coach Erik ten Hag.
Villified online by Manchester United’s supporters, Maguire became a figure of derision at the Red Devils and the ex-Leicester man was even booed by sections of fans at The Avivia Stadium last week in United’s 1-1 friendly match draw with Athletic Bilbao.
A fresh start in London should help to reignite Maguire’s career and West Ham boss David Moyes should have little problem finding a place for the towering centre-back in his Irons’ XI.
Where would Harry Maguire fit in at West Ham?
Last season, West Ham finished 14th in the Premier League and won the Europa Conference League using a tactical system fitted with a back four and having played in a similar set-up for Man Utd, Harry Maguire should have the tools to hit the ground running at his new home.
In the English top tier, Kurt Zouma, Nayef Aguerd and Angelo Ogbonna made 24, 17 and 13 starts respectively, though Frenchman Zouma seemed to lead the pecking order, especially when bigger games came along.
Maguire will likely slot in alongside Zouma at the heart of West Ham’s defence with possibly Vladimír Coufal and Aaron Cresswell positioned either side in the full-back positions.
A partnership between Maguire and Zouma at centre-half would allow West Ham to be one of the most aerially dominant defensive outfits in the division, while Maguire’s nose for sniffing out chances at the other end would add more firepower to an already threatening Hammers collective from set pieces.
West Ham conceded just four times from corners last term, which was one of the lowest totals in the Premier League and they should be even harder to breach in similar scenarios in 2023/24.
At the opposite end, Maguire should prove a useful battering ram in a West Ham side that scored 11 times from set pieces last season. Kurt Zouma and Nayef Aguerd both scored twice in the Premier League in 2022/23, and while Maguire drew a blank at Man Utd during the same period, he should be able to offer more for West Ham.
Maguire has scored seven times in 57 appearances for England, though he managed to hit just four goals in 118 Premier League runouts for the Red Devils.
Away from being a menacing presence from set-plays, Maguire’s arrival should help West Ham to improve their ability to play out from the back.
Last season, Maguire completed 85.4% of his attempted passes in the Premier League – a tally that eclipsed the output of current West Ham central defensive options Kurt Zouma (84.5%), Nayef Aguerd (78.9) and Angelo Ogbonna (80%).
While the accuracy of his radar did slip during his final months at Man Utd, Maguire has generally been a reliable distributor from the back during his top fight career and the 30-year-old should be able to find his range again when he starts playing every week for West Ham.