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Manchester United

Nemanja Vidic explains what ‘8/10’ Harry Maguire has to do to be considered among the best

Former Manchester United defender Nemanja Vidic says Harry Maguire is en route to being considered among the best centre-backs in world football, but he still has some way to go.

Maguire is currently following in Vidic’s footsteps as both the captain and leading centre-back at United, while he has also recovered from injury to star for England at this summer’s European Championships.

The former Leicester City defender was initially struggling with injury heading into the tournament, but he has recovered to take his place back from Aston Villa’s Tyrone Mings at the heart of the England defence for the knockout stages.

Having returned to the side for the last-16 win over Germany at Wembley, Maguire scored England’s second goal in their 4-0 quarter-final win over Ukraine in Rome.

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He will now be a crucial part of the England side that faces Denmark in Wednesday’s semi-final, and Vidic thinks he is continuing to grow as a player.

“Harry Maguire looks confident and comfortable, even more for his country than for Manchester United,” Vidic told The Athletic.

“He’s a defender who is still improving, but if he wants to be recognised at the highest level he has to win trophies.

‘When I look at Maguire I see a defender who is good at everything, 8/10 at everything.

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“He’s not as good on the ball or as fast as Rio Ferdinand was for example, and he doesn’t tackle or head like I did, but he has quality across his game.

Maguire scored for England against Ukraine in Rome
Maguire scored for England against Ukraine in Rome

“He’s fast enough, he’s strong enough, he can jump and play the ball, his positioning is fine.”

Vidic added that he feels England are getting comfortable with reaching the latter stages of major tournaments now having recorded their second successive semi-final under manager Gareth Southgate.

“England have now reached the semi-finals of their past two major tournaments,” he said.

“I’m getting used to seeing England at this stage now, comfortable at the highest level. This wasn’t always so.

“At Manchester United, I used to joke with my England team-mates that they were always expected to do well but never did, despite having all those great players.

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“We’d joke before the tournaments but not after, when England were knocked out again. That was not a time for laughing.

“And I couldn’t say too much because I was not returning with a World Cup winner’s medal or European champion medal in my pocket from playing with Serbia.”

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