Former Sheffield United legend Tony Currie believes Harry Maguire is destined to follow in his footsteps by winning a senior England cap.
Currie first spotted the defender’s potential when he graduated from the Steelphalt Academy six years ago before, 12 months later, going on the record to state Maguire would force himself into the international reckoning.
Speaking ahead of tonight’s Carabao Cup tie between United and Leicester City, the 24-year-old’s present club, Currie told The Star: “I told everyone about five years ago that Harry would go on to play for his country. You could see, pretty much right from the start, that he had it in him. In fact, I remember thinking at the time he could even play for us in midfield because his touch on the ball and his passing ability was exceptional. He could also go past an opponent too.”
Maguire made over 160 appearances for United before moving to Hull City in 2014. Leicester spent an initial £12m to acquire his services during the close season and, after making an impressive start to the present campaign, is now being touted for an England call-up by several television pundits.
“I’m delighted for him but it does make me smile because we were telling everyone that ages ago,” Currie continued. “They’re all highlighting now what we always knew ourselves. To be honest, I think Harry would be in the England squad now if it wasn’t for the fact that, after going to Hull, he found himself in the wilderness at first. They wouldn’t play him to begin with and, because of his ability, I just couldn’t figure that out.”
England manager Gareth Southgate names his squad for the forthcoming World Cup qualifiers against Malta and Slovakia on Thursday.
“I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Harry was in that,” Currie, who represented his country on 17 occasions, said. “If he’s not then it’s only a matter of time.
“Everyone used to say ‘Harry lacks pace’ but that’s rubbish. He reads the game so well, that’s where he gets his pace from. I wasn’t the quickest by any stretch of the imagination but the first five yards where in my mind. Harry is the same.”
“Look at the number of interceptions he makes by getting in front of a forward,” Currie added. “He wins so many balls like that because he understands what’s happening and can see the situations developing.”