Steve Nicol believes that Tottenham Hotspur would be asking for trouble if they decided to make a move for Harry Maguire this summer, suggesting that the fans would be waiting for the defender to make a mistake.
Nicol was speaking to ESPN following reports that Tottenham are one of the sides eyeing the Manchester United defender in the transfer window.
It does appear that the 30-year-old will be on the move this summer. Reports from Football Transfers this week claimed that Manchester United and Maguire have agreed to part ways, with Tottenham amongst his admirers.
Nicol warns Tottenham to not make Harry Maguire move
The report suggests that Maguire is likely to cost around £35 million. And there is absolutely no question that Tottenham need to overhaul their defence in the coming months.
Maguire has been ridiculed by fans for much of his time at Old Trafford. So it is no surprise at all that a move appears to be on the cards.
However, Nicol believes that Maguire would hardly be any better off moving to Tottenham Hotspur Stadium – particularly given how some fans reacted to links with Ange Postecoglou.
“You’re asking for trouble as well, not just on the field,” he told ESPN.
“The snobbery you were talking about because you’re signing Postecoglou, you go sign Harry Maguire, they’ll all be going: ‘hold on a minute, why are we signing a guy who’s been an absolute nightmare?’
“You’re going to have a guy in your team right from the get-go who the fans can’t wait for him to make a mistake to get on him – which is not only going to crush him, it’s going to start affecting everybody else. So Harry Maguire is not just a gamble on the field, he’s a gamble off the field as well.”
Too much of a risk for Spurs?
The frustrating thing with Maguire is that he could be an outstanding signing if it clicks for him at his next club. He has had some decent spells at Old Trafford. And he has rarely been a disappointment while playing for England.
However, it seems to be such a big gamble. As Nicol notes, some will not be prepared to give him a chance. So he will be under enormous pressure if he heads to Tottenham.
He does have his limitations as a player. And any club which makes a move will have to keep that in mind. But perhaps his admirers will feel that his availability presents an opportunity that is too good to walk away from.