Adam Lallana admits he was wrong about Man United star Harry Maguire
Adam Lallana heaps praise on Harry Maguire following his excellent recent form for England and Man United
Adam Lallana has admitted that he “misjudged” Harry Maguire following his good form for Manchester United and England.
The Red Devils captain has been a key part of the England side at Euro 2020 and he was a consistent performer in the Manchester United team last season.
Maguire’s strong performances at the back helped Gareth Southgate’s men to reach the Euro 2020 final against Italy and he netted one goal in four games in the lead-up to the showpiece at the tournament.
The former Leicester City defender also scored two goals and made one assist in 34 Premier League games for the Red Devils last season as Manchester United finished in second place in the top-flight table.
Former Liverpool FC midfielder Lallana has now admitted that Maguire has proved him wrong in recent months with his superb form for club and country.
Speaking to The Times before the Euro 2020 final, Lallana said: “I misjudged Harry Maguire. I don’t mind admitting that.
“I have always thought he was a very good player, but what this tournament has shown me, and hopefully others, is that he is at the next level: a proven world-class defender.
“Clearly being the Manchester United captain has had a significant effect on him and I think it’s helped him mature on the pitch. The scrutiny is so intense every week at United that it develops leadership.
“You can see why Gareth Southgate had no doubts about including him in his 26-man squad despite the injury ruling him out until the final group game.
“I don’t think there should be too much doubt that had the squad been the usual 23 names, Harry would have still been selected. He makes them better.
“His reading of the game has been superb and I have enjoyed the moments where he has just stepped in front of an opponent to pinch the ball, leaving the striker wondering where he came from.
“He has been willing to step out of defence and start attacks, which was particularly noticeable against Denmark.
“But I also like the fact he does not always look to play the easy ball back to the goalkeeper because that puts Jordan Pickford under pressure.
“Harry would rather take the initiative himself and play a forward pass, which can be risky but he knows he is good enough to take that on.
“He wants to take responsibility rather than put it on somebody else and as a team-mate that must be so valuable. He has been playing brave, high quality football. He’s been a colossus.”
Maguire will be hoping to help steer Manchester United towards a Premier League title challenge next season after the Red Devils finished in second place and without a trophy under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer last term.