Harry Maguire earned praise of Manchester United fans and Martin Keown for doing the simple things right during an eventful Old Trafford debut.
Playing at centre back Maguire sizzled and looked every bit the £80 million United paid for the defender.
As well as keeping a clean sheet Maguire was always in control and he won more aerial duels, cleared the ball more times and made more interceptions than anyone else on the pitch (TheMIrror).
Arsenal legend Keown has also lauded Maguire for his performance – and picked out his Sunday league style “lumping the ball into Row Z” for special praise.
“Harry Maguire reads danger like you or I would read a Beano comic. It comes naturally to the 6ft 4in central defender and that is what Manchester United have paid good money for,” Keown said in his Daily Mail column.
“Later on in the game, whenever Maguire won a header, whenever he cleared the danger by lumping the ball into Row Z, it was greeted by cheers.
“They love seeing that and the statistics show he made the most clearances, the most interceptions, and the most blocks. He inspired the crowd and his team-mates here. United kept two clean sheets in 19 Premier League outings at Old Trafford last season.
They conceded 54 goals in total – the most of any of the Big Six – and 25 of those came at home. Now, they are off and running in 2019-20. You could see the confidence coursing through Solskjaer’s new signings in the second half.”
Gary Neville was also full of praise and added on Twitter.
“I loved Maguire yesterday,” Neville wrote on Monday morning. “Top centre backs don’t sweat, look calm, don’t spend time on their backsides, win headers, are composed on the ball, cover others and lead by example.
“It’s only early but he demonstrated all those qualities. No sign of the price tag or Old Trafford phasing him either!”
Maguire looks like a player that has been there for years. Quietly confident but concise on the pitch. With even more game time he looks a steal at the price the club paid.