A former Old Trafford favourite has questioned whether the England international is the right man to lead Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side
Harry Maguire doesn’t inspire those around him like Roy Keane or Bryan Robson, according to Andrei Kanchelskis, who says the Manchester United captain is too quiet and lacks aggression.
More than a few eyebrows were raised when United forked out a world-record fee of £80 million ($107m) to sign Maguire from Leicester City in the summer of 2019.
The England international had shone during his time at the King Power Stadium, winning a regular spot in England’s national team in the process, but had yet to experience club football at the highest level when he arrived at Old Trafford.
Maguire silenced his doubters initially as he quickly became the first name on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team-sheet while forming a solid partnership with Victor Lindelof in the heart of the defence.
The Norwegian boss was impressed enough to hand the 27-year-old the captain’s armband following Ashley Young’s move to Inter in January, and United went on to secure a third-place Premier League finish while also reaching three semi-finals.
However, Maguire has been far less reliable at the start of the new season, with the Red Devils allowing complacency to creep back in which has prevented them from re-emerging as a major force.
Solskjaer’s side have conceded 16 goals in their first nine top-flight outings, and they shipped another three as Paris Saint-Germain earned a 3-1 victory at Old Trafford in the Champions League on Wednesday night.
Prior to that defeat, Kanchelskis called Maguire’s leadership credentials into question, with the former Leicester star considered to be short on the kind of “determination” which defined some of the club’s previous captains.
Asked if the centre-back is the right man to skipper the team in the long-term, the ex-United midfielder told American Gambler: “I don’t know,”
“He’s not someone that inspires you like a Roy Keane. He’s a little bit quiet and doesn’t really sparkle.
“You look at how Roy Keane and Bryan Robson used to fight on the pitch, he’s a little bit quiet and needs some determination and be a bit more aggressive.
“This is football; it’s not ballet.”
Kanchelskis was less negative about United’s chances of competing for top honours this season though, as he pointed out the fact that results have been difficult to predict in the post-coronavirus lockdown climate.
Asked if the Red Devils can compete for the title, he responded: “Yes! Why not?
“With everything going on with Covid, you are seeing some teams are finding it difficult and some teams are playing badly, some teams play better with fans.
“I’ve seen the results and anything can happen. Liverpool lost 7-2 and United lost 6-1. With everything happening, it’s a good chance to win the title.”