‘He was the worst player on the pitch’: Rafael van der Vaart questions Harry Maguire’s ability and reveals shock at £80m move to Manchester United
- Van der Vaart didn’t rate Maguire’s performance in the Uefa Nations League
- Maguire was below-par in England’s defeat to the Netherlands in May
- The 26-year-old joined Manchester United in an £80m move last week
Rafael van der Vaart has questioned Harry Maguire’s ability and says he was surprised Manchester United spent £80 million on the centre-back.
United paid a world record transfer fee for a defender to sign the 26-year-old from Leicester City last week after months of negotiations between the two clubs.
However, Van der Vaart was less than impressed with Maguire’s performance during England’s 3-1 Uefa Nations League semi-final defeat to the Netherlands in May.
Van der Vaart felt Maguire was England’s worst player in their defeat to Netherlands in May
The centre-back wasn’t at his best as the Three Lions were beaten 3-1 in the Nations League
‘I was working for Dutch television during the Uefa Nations League and I remember we were saying ‘Harry Maguire was by far the worst player on the pitch’,’ he told Sky Sports. ‘Then two months later he signs for £80 million!’
Maguire was defended by Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp, who reassured the former Tottenham midfielder that ‘he can play’.
Maguire could make his Manchester United debut on Sunday when they host Chelsea in their opening game of the season at Old Trafford.
Manchester United broke the world record fee for a defender to sign Maguire from Leicester
The centre-back is expected to make his debut when United host Chelsea on Sunday
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says Maguire was his first choice summer transfer target
Ahead of the game, United boss Ole Gunnar Solksjaer revealed the defender was his number one summer transfer target and has predicted he will be a huge success .
‘He was always my No 1 target,’ he said. ‘I more or less made my mind up when we played Leicester that if it was possible to get him, we should at least try. He is so composed on the ball and he gives the team another dimension.
‘He has already shown what a presence he will be and what an impact he will have in the squad. Harry is a leader, an established international, a goal threat and a very, very good defender.
‘I don’t want to compare us to Liverpool or Harry to Van Dijk, but I know Harry is going to have a massive impact on us, yes.’