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Richard Keys once infamously insisted that his words were ‘just banter’, though Chelsea fans will be horrified to learn that isn’t the case this time.
The former Sky Sports presenter, who now heads up beIN SPORTS, was speaking to co-host Andy Gray about where the London club should spend their money this summer and urged Blues boss Thomas Tuchel to go out and get Harry Maguire, despite the Manchester United defender’s torrid recent form.
Ambitious moves for Tottenham’s Harry Kane and West Ham’s Declan Rice were mentioned, which got Keys fantasising about an all-English spine, but Gray couldn’t help but snort derisively once Maguire’s name was added to the mix.
“Are you serious? Harry Maguire? He’s had an awful season,” the former Scotland international said.
“But that doesn’t make him an awful player,” Keys responded. “He’s had a bad season along with at least 14 other Manchester United regulars.”
Gray replied: “I cannot see Chelsea buying Harry Maguire, I really can’t.
In fairness, Chelsea are in the market for a few centre backs, with Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen La Liga-bound and captain Cesar Azpilicueta threatening to follow them.
Sevilla’s Jules Kounde and RB Leipzig’s Josko Gvardiol remain the club’s primary defensive targets for the time being, but if those moves fall through, would a plump for Maguire actually be that ridiculous? After all, at his best he’s a very capable defender with a lot to offer on the ball – exactly the sort of profile Tuchel will be looking for.
🗣️ "If Chelsea want an English spine… Declan Rice, Kane, Harry Maguire?"
😲 "What, are you serious?"
— beIN SPORTS (@beINSPORTS_EN) May 15, 2022
United would probably have to be prepared to make a significant loss on the £80 million they invested in Maguire back in 2019 if he left, but after such a disastrous campaign for both player and club, perhaps a fresh start is in the interest of both parties – though Chelsea, admittedly, would be an unlikely destination.
The last player to move from Old Trafford to Stamford Bridge directly? Juan Sebastian Veron – who like Maguire had a similarly disastrous spell in Manchester, and if his entirely forgettable season at Chelsea is anything to go by, picking up United’s deadwood isn’t the smartest idea.
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