Stuck behind two plodding veterans and stapled to the bench, not much was going right for Harry Maguire at Hull City a few seasons ago. Enter Marco Silva, and the Portuguese manager immediately knew he had something special on his hands as he promoted the then 23-year old to the starting lineup and propelled him on his way to becoming the England starting centre half.
“When I joined Hull, he didn’t play enough matches until that point. He was third choice behind Michael Dawson and Curtis Davies.
”With me he played always. I saw in him fantastic qualities to achieve something really important in the future. He’s a very good player, he’s strong, he has quality. He had many things to improve because he didn’t play at a high level when he was younger and he’s achieved it through hard work.
“Of course tomorrow we play against him and we’ll do everything to stop him performing well, to create problems for him.”
During the summer of 2017, Hull were relegated and Maguire looked to make the move away from the Tigers. Also linked with a move away was another young English centreback, Michael Keane at Burnley.
Everton had been linked with both, but ended up choosing Keane for up to £30 million while Leicester City made a £17 million move for Maguire. The rest, as they often say, is history with one of the two defenders becoming a star at the last summer’s World Cup while the other continues to have question marks raised about his comprehension of the game in front of him.