Harry Maguire has been taken to task by Rafael van der Vaart after the Tottenham player tore the Manchester United defender to pieces following Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Liverpool at Old Trafford.
Marcus Rashford’s first-half opener was cancelled out by Adam Lallana’s strike five minutes from time in a game that appeared to hinge on two controversial VAR decisions; Jurgen Klopp was certainly laughing about them after the game.
However, rather than focus on VAR, former Spurs favourite Van Der Vaart turned the focus onto Maguire, with United having kept just two clean sheets in the Premier League since the Red Devils shelled out a world-record £80million for his services.
Working on Dutch TV, Van der Vaart insists he has had doubts over Maguire’s qualities since before his move to Old Trafford and that everything he has seen since has only reinforced that.
“When I watch an amateur game on Sunday, I find three players playing like him [Maguire]. I’m serious,” Van der Vaart said on Ziggo Sport.
“It may sound silly, but he will not hear it anyway. After all, we’re talking about a €90million transfer here. Then [Virgil] van Dijk is worth €300million.
“It’s funny because during the Nations League, I was doing work for Dutch television.
“And I remember we were saying ‘Harry Maguire was by far the worst player on the pitch’. And then, two months later, €90m.”
It was the first time Liverpool had failed to win in the Premier League this season and after the match, Klopp was unhappy at Man Utd’s tactics.
And this was something Jose Mourinho agreed with in the Sky Sports studios, recognising that Liverpool’s failure to break down United’s “low block” is a major flaw in their armoury.
“Their quality as a team to play against a low block, which is a problem that sometimes they have,” Mourinho told Sky Sports. “They have these fantastic records of all these victories, but they have some limitations against teams with low blocks.”