Danny Simpson: Maguire will keep growing
Former Red Danny Simpson says Harry Maguire is growing into his role as Manchester United captain and that there’s plenty more to come from the centre-back.
Simpson, a Premier League winner with Leicester City in 2016, played alongside Maguire at the King Power Stadium for two years.
As well as emphasising the impact Harry has had on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s squad, both since signing in August and being named skipper in January, Simpson also praised the 27-year-old’s character.
“He’s a good lad, he’s a good person,” Simpson told the MUTV Group Chat on Tuesday. “I know straightaway the players will respect him and take to him. Especially at the back, he’s a calming influence on the ball, which is what United have needed.
“He knows when to step in, pick up the pace, and he knows when to slow it down. He seems like he’s grown more with each game as a leader.
“We’ve seen some of the stuff as well he’s been doing off the field as Man United captain to help out with the NHS and lockdown. He helped me out as well with something. He must be so busy but I asked him to help me out and he sent me a video message.
“He’s just a good guy and he’s clearly respected and I still think there’s more to come from him.
“It’s a lot to come in and sign for Man United at that price tag in your first season and then be given the captain’s armband, maybe halfway through, so second season he’ll just kick on.
“Like you said, there’s been some good signings and with him in the team and the young players in the squad I think they’ll just grow.”
Someone who fits the bill in terms of being a Solskjaer signing and a hot prospect for the future is Aaron Wan-Bissaka.
Of course, the 22-year-old operates in Simpson’s own position, and the former Red – now at Huddersfield Town in the Championship – thinks Wan-Bissaka is gradually adding more to his game going forward, after making the transition from a less possession-oriented side to one which likes to make use of the ball and relies on width from its full-backs.
“Everyone keeps trying to compare him to Trent [Alexander-Arnold] but they are different kinds of full-backs.
“Ole’s come out and said he’s working on his work in the final third. And people forget he came from Crystal Palace and people know they don’t have as much possession as United, so most of the time he was defending.
“Whereas now United, especially at home, will have more possession and he’s probably finding himself more in the final third than he was at Crystal Palace.
“Towards the end of the season I remember when he was whipping in crosses at Chelsea and that’s what he’s got to do. He’s working intensively, he doesn’t get beat. You see him against [Raheem] Sterling, one of the best wingers in the league, and he can’t get near him!
“He’s very good and he’s young as well. The other side of it he will improve and it looks like he’s working hard.
“I’m sure with Ole and the players around he’s working hard to improve. That’s what you want to see at Old Trafford, him getting assists.”
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