Harry Maguire had an afternoon to forget for Manchester United in their 4-2 Premier League defeat at Leicester City on Saturday but Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville has defended him
The England international defender was included from the start in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side but appeared to be lacking match fitness and was partly culpable for all four goals his side conceded.
Maguire was playing against his former club but the Foxes pressed him throughout the game and forced him into making individual errors that led to big goal scoring opportunities.
United had opened the scoring through a superb Mason Greenwood individual goal but Youri Tielemans and Caglar Soyuncu both found the target to turn the game on its head.
Marcus Rashford levelled the score for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side but the home side hit back through late goals from Jamie Vardy and Patson Daka to claim a deserved 4-2 victory.
Former United defender Neville has now moved to back Maguire despite the fact that he was not at full fitness, claiming that fans should not overreact to his performance.
Neville said on Instagram Live on Sunday: “Maguire is overrated? No, Maguire is a fantastic player.
“Maguire wasn’t ready yesterday, he was nowhere near being ready for that match. I think he was thrust back in because of Varane’s injury. Maguire was well off it yesterday.
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“But I think he’s the right type, Manchester United need more like him.
“Maguire’s not good enough? We’re on the wrong path here if we’re now starting to say Harry Maguire is not the right type of signing.
“I think Harry Maguire is the perfect type of character for United. I think he’s performed well since he’s come to the club.
“Yesterday he was miles off it, he was nowhere near at the level in terms of fitness-wise and we’ve all been there as players.
“But this is certainly not the time to start throwing the baby out with the bath water.”
United boss Solskjaer has come under scrutiny for his decision to select his club captain for the match, despite his apparent lack of match fitness.
Solskjaer said after the game: “It was my decision to play Harry. He’s worked really hard on the rehab with the physios and he looked ready, he didn’t feel any after-effects, he trained with us, he looked sharp.
“He’s a big, massive player for us, he’s so important, he’s the captain, he’s the leader, we wanna bring him back as soon as we can because he’s been so influential in our play.”
It was a result that continued United’s slump in form domestically in which they have collected just one point from their last three Premier League matches.
United were downed at home by Aston Villa before being held at Old Trafford by Everton, who were only denied the three points due to Yerry Mina’s goal being – correctly – ruled out for offside.