How Phelan gave Maguire his Premier League chance
Following the completion of his transfer to Manchester United, Harry Maguire is excited to rekindle his relationship with our assistant manager Mike Phelan – who gave him his first real opportunity in the Premier League during their time together at former club Hull City.
Phelan joined Hull as their assistant manager in February of that 2015/16 campaign and, when Bruce’s shock departure was announced later that summer, Mike was appointed as caretaker manager. One of Phelan’s first decisions was to install Maguire at the heart of his defence, notably handing him his first Premier League appearance of the season against United at the KCOM Stadium in August 2016.
Although Phelan subsequently left Hull in January, Maguire maintained his impressive momentum and registered 36 appearances across all competitions that season, which led to a transfer to Leicester City in the summer.
In our exclusive interview that was released on Monday, United signing Maguire was quick to praise Phelan and the impact that he had on his fledgling career.
“To be fair to Mike, he was the person who took over at Hull and gave me my chance in the Premier League and I started playing regularly and started proving that I could play in the Premier League and I could handle myself there, so I owe him a lot.
“I’m really excited to be working with him again, he’s a top coach, he’s helped me through my years and I’ve always been in contact with him so it’s good that I get the chance to work with him again.”
Speaking last summer, Phelan gave this insight to reporters: “Harry was one who now and again wanted to know: ‘How did so-and-so deal with that? Why would I need to be in this type of position at this moment?’ It’s an education when making that jump. It was learning skills which weren’t his strengths, when to stand still, when not to dribble out. And he understood that.”
After completing his transfer to United, Maguire is excited to make his debut for the club and that could arrive on Sunday when the new Premier League season begins for us at Old Trafford.
The 26-year-old made four pre-season appearances for Leicester over the summer and, as such, hopes he is fit enough to feature against Chelsea.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer may provide an update during his pre-match press conference, which is due to take place at the Aon Training Complex on Friday.
United begin the new Premier League season against Chelsea at Old Trafford on Sunday, with kick-off at 16:30 BST. Guarantee your seat to this game with a Matchday VIP Experience.