Paul Pogba Praises Harry Maguire After Man United Debut: 'I Call Him the Beast'

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistAugust 12, 2019

Manchester United's English defender Harry Maguire (L) shakes hands with Manchester United's French midfielder Paul Pogba (R) on the pitch at the final whistle in the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Chelsea at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on August 11, 2019. - Manchester United won the game 4-0. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. /         (Photo credit should read OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images)
OLI SCARFF/Getty Images

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba has praised Harry Maguire following the defender's excellent display in the side's win over Chelsea on Sunday.

The Red Devils caught the eye in attack at Old Trafford, winning by a healthy 4-0 margin to get their Premier League season off to an ideal start. However, much of the post-match conversation centred on Maguire, who put in an accomplished debut following his transfer from Leicester City.

Speaking about his new team-mate following the game, Pogba said Maguire brings a lot to the base of the team, per Chris Burton of Goal.

"I call him 'The Beast,'" he said. "Honestly, as you saw, he was really impressive. He is a leader. He fit right in with us in training. We talked about controlling the defence well, and he has a good understanding with Victor [Lindelof]. It was a very good match to start with from the whole team."

The centre-back posted the following:

Harry Maguire @HarryMaguire93

Proud to make my debut and great to get three points at Old Trafford, the atmosphere was class 🔴 Clean sheet for the team too. Thanks for the amazing support 🙌 https://t.co/tLj8LzrV8M

Broadcaster Sky Sports named Maguire the man of the match:

Sky Sports Statto @SkySportsStatto

👏 Harry Maguire is @premierleague Man of the Match on his @ManUtd debut • 7 clearances - most in match • 4 interceptions - most in match • 86% passing accuracy • Dribbled past no times Helps Man Utd keep their 1st clean sheet in 16 games in all comps since February https://t.co/v3iYFR97Oy

After United took the lead in the first half through a Marcus Rashford penalty, they were scintillating on the counter-attack against Chelsea in the second half. Goals from Anthony Martial and Daniel James either side of Rashford's second goal added some gloss to the scoreline.

Although some eyebrows were raised when the Red Devils broke the world transfer record for a defender to bring in Maguire, the England international offered an insight into what he'll bring to the team with his dominant performance.

Despite only officially becoming a United player a week ago, the 26-year-old appeared at ease in the red shirt and in front of a packed Old Trafford. He won his duels with the Chelsea attackers and was composed in his utilisation of the ball.

Former United defender Gary Neville commented on a number of positive signs from Maguire following his debut:

Gary Neville @GNev2

I loved Maguire yesterday . Top CB’s don’t sweat , look calm , don’t spend time on their backsides, win headers,are composed on the ball, cover others and lead by example. It’s only early but he demonstrated all those qualities. No sign of the price tag or OT phasing him either!

Bleacher Report's Rob Blanchette praised Maguire, as well as United's other big-money defensive acquisition, Aaron Wan-Bissaka:

Rob Blanchette @_Rob_B

Back home from Old Trafford, and what a first day at the office! Might be a little bit in love with Maguire and AWB. Watching their application today was truly wonderful. Lots still to work on, Chelsea a tad unlucky to suffer a spanking, but that's football. #MUFC

Pogba also shone in the second half, as he set up Rashford's second goal with a pinpoint long pass and then played in James for his debut goal.

There has been speculation surrounding the Frenchman's future throughout the summer, and after the game he said there was still a "question mark" over his position at Old Trafford. 

It would be a major surprise if United did decide to sell their midfielder at this point, though, as with the transfer window shut they would be unable to draft in a replacement. Plus, alongside Maguire, Pogba can potentially be a crucial part of a rock-solid spine for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's team.