The Warmdown: Maguire shows worth for young Man United in draw at Wolves
WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 19: Paul Pogba of Manchester United talks with teammate Harry Maguire during the Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Manchester United at Molineux on August 19, 2019 in Wolverhampton, United Kingdom. (Photo by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images)

The Warmdown: Maguire shows worth for young Man United in draw at Wolves

The takeaways from the game for Manchester United fans after a 1-1 draw away at Wolves on Monday night. 

harry-robinson
Harry Robinson

Harry Maguire is beginning to show his worth for Manchester United after the Reds drew 1-1 away to Wolves.

Much of the immediate aftermath of the match was focused on Paul Pogba's penalty miss in the second half that left United ruing what could have been. The positives outweighed the negatives, though.

United spent three months thinking about signing Maguire, having initially been interested in him last season. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer got his man, for a world-record £80million. 

Maguire starting well

The challenge for Maguire is to stop that price tag being used as a description for him and, instead, have watchers on focus on his performances.

His first two showings against Chelsea and Wolves have fulfilled expectations. No more is needed. He has begun to solidify and lead the United defence and if he does that consistently for the next 12 months and the years after that, the price tag will be quickly forgotten.

While it ended as a rout of Chelsea nine days ago, Maguire's defence ensured United went in at half-time with a lead despite a far from impressive first 45 minutes.

In the second half at Molineux, Maguire blocked a cross from Dendoncker, tackled Traore in the box, blocked Neves and marked Jota. And there was a lot more. He pushed Shaw and Lindelof into the right positions. He did what a good defender should do and his quality on the ball is showing already as well.

Though the comparison isn't one a club like United should have to make, Maguire's passing is many levels above Smalling. The latter was trained at a non-league side. Maguire came through at Sheffield United. It's no surprise. He passes in front of his teammates' feet rather than pinging it at them and preventing the fluid movement up the pitch. It's refreshing.

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Martial beginning to show consistency

The post-match penalty kerfuffle distracted from a brilliant opening goal from Martial. Neves' second-half curler that struck off the crossbar twice was the peak of satisfaction for lovers of great goals, but Martial's was a clinical finish on the left side of the box with his first touch. It was a striker's goal.

The Frenchman started centrally on Monday night and showed his desire to continue in that role. He drifted wide very rarely and stuck between the goalposts. He scored. The competition between him and Rashford can only be positive.

United must still improve

It's two good results for United. A draw at Wolves isn't terrible, a thrashing of Chelsea is fantastic. But the Reds have only actually had two very good halves so far.

The first 45 minutes against Chelsea were signs of what happens when United lack creativity and urgency, and the second half against Wolves wasn't as poor but was disappointing after an excellent first period.

Consistency throughout the game is important for United. The positives are the impact of the new signings and the fact that every United player looks like they can, and will, improve this season. It may finally be a genuine season of transition, working on a regular style and improving the players at the club. It may be. There's a long way to go.

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