Harry Maguire Transfer Fee 'Comes with Pressure,' Says Virgil van Dijk

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistAugust 6, 2019

STOKE ON TRENT, ENGLAND - JULY 27: Harry Maguire of Leicester looks on during the Pre-Season Friendly match between Stoke City and Leicester City at the Bet365 Stadium on July 27, 2019 in Stoke on Trent, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Michael Regan/Getty Images

Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk has warned Harry Maguire that being the world's most expensive defender "comes with pressure." 

Manchester United signed the England international centre-back for £80 million from Leicester City on Monday, eclipsing the £75 million Liverpool paid Southampton for Van Dijk back in January 2018.

B/R Football @brfootball

📸 @HarryMaguire93 in 🔴 https://t.co/lHhssM5jOY

Van Dijk, 28, said it was inevitable his record fee would be broken, but he added that there is an expectation that comes with being signed for so much money, per Goal's Michael Plant:

"Good luck to him. I can't say anything about [the fee] because there was always going to be a time when it was going to change. That's the market. He doesn't have any influence on that, but I wish him well. The price comes with pressure, but it doesn't change too much because you always have pressure at big clubs like Man United. But I wish him well."

The Dutchman also offered some advice for Maguire: "Just focus on doing what you love to do and play your best game. Get your qualities out of the pitch, enjoy your game and don't think about the other things."

Maguire, 26, signed for Leicester from Hull City in June 2017 in a deal worth up to £17 million.

He has since established himself as one of the most commanding centre-backs in the Premier League, and he has also become an England regular under Gareth Southgate.

United have been lacking defensively for some time now and conceded 54 goals in the Premier League last season, their most in a league campaign since 1978-79:

OptaJoe @OptaJoe

48 - Manchester United have conceded 48 Premier League goals in 2018-19, their highest ever tally in a single season in the competition and their most in a top-flight league campaign since 1978-79 (63). Spiralling. #EVEMUN https://t.co/23ftz4f8e6

In David De Gea, they have one of the best goalkeepers in the world.

But Victor Lindelof was arguably their only consistent defensive performer last season, with the Swede particularly impressive after the appointment of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in December.

United will hope the signing of Maguire changes that. The Red Devils look to now have as good a defence as they have had in the post-Sir Alex Ferguson era after also signing Aaron Wan-Bissaka this summer:

Scott Patterson @R_o_M

Maguire is an upgrade. A very expensive upgrade but you have to pay what it costs. A back five of De Gea, AWB, Lindelof, Maguire and Shaw is pretty decent. That’s the best defence we’ve had for years. Now on to the midfield...

If Maguire performs well, his transfer fee will be of little consequence, but it will continue to be brought up if he does not meet his potential at Old Trafford.

United's new-look defence faces an early test in their first Premier League game of the new season, when they host Chelsea on Sunday.