Harry Maguire's rapid rise from League One to world's most expensive defender

Three years ago, Harry Maguire was playing in the Championship for Hull City. We chart his rapid rise to joining Manchester United.

Harry Maguire playing for Sheffield United in 2014.   -  Getty Images

Harry Maguire has capped his stunning rise by joining Manchester United in a deal reportedly worth £80million on Monday.

The fee makes Maguire the most expensive defender in football history, eclipsing the reported £75m Virgil van Dijk cost Liverpool from Southampton.

Considering Maguire was playing League One football with Sheffield United in 2014, it has been a remarkable few years for the Yorkshireman.

Maguire is also now established in the England team as the first-choice partner at the back for Manchester City defender John Stones.

Here, we chart his progress from third-tier centre-back to the world's priciest defender.

READ | Harry Maguire completes Man United move for reported £80m

Hometown hero with the Blades

Maguire broke into the Sheffield United team at the end of the 2010-2011 season, making five appearances as the Blades were relegated from the Championship.

A year later Maguire was included in the Professional Footballers' Association's League One Team of the Year and clubs began to sniff around the teenager.

Wolves were linked with a move for Maguire but he instead switched to Hull City for £2.5m, joining the club at the same time as Andrew Robertson arrived from Dundee United for a similar fee. Maguire has continued to show support for his hometown club on social media.

Harry Maguire was named the club's Player of the Year at Hull City after the 2016/17 season.   -  Getty Images


Relegation and promotion at Hull

The Tigers had been promoted to the Premier League when Maguire joined in 2014, but he struggled to break into the backline and was sent on loan to Championship side Wigan Athletic, where he made 16 appearances - the team conceding only 22 goals when he played.

Hull, which was relegated in the 2014/15 season, bounced back with an immediate promotion. Maguire featured 24 times but was named on the bench for their play-off final defeat of Sheffield Wednesday at Wembley, before continuing to nail down his place in the following top-flight campaign.

Although Hull was relegated again in the 2016/17 season, the Tigers keeping just four clean sheets in Maguire's 29 appearances, he impressed enough - being named the club's Player of the Year - to earn the second transfer of his career.


Leicester grabs a £17m bargain

It was Leicester up next for Maguire after it reportedly paid £12m up front for the defender in a deal that included a further £5m in add-ons. He was ever-present in his first Foxes campaign, helping Leicester to keep nine clean sheets.

During November of the 2016-17 season, he won his first England cap, starting for Gareth Southgate's side in goalless draws against Brazil, and then against Germany, to stake his claim for World Cup selection at Russia 2018.

Fine displays from Maguire earned him Leicester's 2017-18 Player of the Season and Players' Player of the Season awards and United was then linked with a big-money move.


World Cup heroics and meme star

Southgate took Maguire to Russia and made him a starter for the Three Lions, with the defender appearing in all seven of England's matches at the World Cup.

Maguire went viral on social media when a photograph of him with girlfriend Fern Hawkins was turned into a meme, while he scored in England's defeat of Sweden in the quarter-finals.

 

READ | Maguire to Man United: Defender vows to 'give everything' after record move
Most expensive defender in the world

Leicester was able to rebuff strong interest in Maguire from United and he continued to improve in the 2018-19 campaign, winning 78.1 per cent of his aerial battles - the most in the Premier League - to further establish a reputation as a dominant defender in the air.

Despite his massive size, Maguire is also strong on the floor. His 16 dribbles completed was the most in the Premier League among centre-backs, although making four errors that led to shots indicated he is not yet the finished package.

Regardless, with Van Dijk's record fee pushing up the asking price for high-class defenders, United elected to make Maguire the most expensive English player after rival Manchester City pulled out of the race.

  Dugout videos