Harry Maguire would have transformed Manchester City into an “unstoppable” force if he had joined them instead of Manchester United, according to Gary Neville.
City have certainly looked unstoppable this season as they charge towards the Premier League title. They have also already won the Carabao Cup and have a Champions League final to look forward to. But things can change quickly in football and last year it was Liverpool who dominated the league.
Looking back, Sky Sports pundit Neville thinks City would have kept a stranglehold on English football if they had beaten United to the signing of Maguire.
City were in the running to sign Maguire in 2019 before he went to United from Leicester. At the time, Pep Guardiola claimed they couldn’t compete with the price tag, which remains the most money anyone has ever paid for a defender.
United have instead been reaping the rewards. Maguire has become their club captain and rarely misses a game.
Speaking on Sky, ex-United defender Neville sang the praises of the England international and imagined a partnership between him and City counterpart Ruben Dias.
He said: “I think Harry Maguire is the outstanding centre-back other than Dias [in the Premier League this season].
“To play every single game like he’s done, I think he’s been reliable, I think he’s been consistent. He’s started to show authority.
“I think Manchester United have got a good player.
“I think Manchester City, to be fair, when they missed out on him a couple of years ago, if they had have him and Dias together, if they’d have got [Aymeric] Laporte at the time, they’d have been almost unstoppable.”
Neville admits Maguire problem
Maguire had played every minute of the Premier League season until Sunday, when he went off in the 78th minute of a 3-1 win over Aston Villa.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer confirmed afterwards that the centre-back had twisted his ankle. However, he does not yet know how long Maguire may be out for.
Neville admitted he is concerned for both United and England ahead of the summer. The Red Devils have a Europa League final on the horizon and the Three Lions are ready for Euro 2020.
But without Maguire, both may suffer.
Neville explained: “It’s a big problem for United, and a big problem for England. A massive problem if he’s not fit for the summer, because it’s changing the system.
“I think you can’t play a back four without Harry Maguire.”