Richard Dunne's warning to Manchester United fans after Harry Maguire signing
FORMER Irish defender Richard Dunne has warned Manchester United supporters that their record new defensive signing Harry Maguire remains vulnerable to the best strikers in the Premier League.
"He may be the most expensive defender in the world but he is not the best defender in the world," said Dunne.
"I still believe he can be exposed against the quicker strikers in the league on the turn, as we have already seen at Anfield on a few occasions.
"He probably still thinks he is as quick as he once was but eventually you find out that there are quicker strikers out there and it will start happening to him. That's where positioning becomes so important."
Dunne's former Irish team-mate Gary Breen knows there will be pressure on Maguire to deliver for his new club but he feels he can make the step up.
"He has shown that all through his career, whether it is stepping up through the divisions or making the jump from club football to the English national side.
"The fee (a reported stg£80m) is massive and there will be many people hoping, or expecting, that he will make the same impact on United as Virgil van Dijk had on Liverpool's campaign last season."
Former Chelsea striker Chris Sutton believes that Maguire's signing could be a significant statement of intent from Ole Gunnar Solksjaer's side as they bid to defy the doubters and challenge for a Champions League slot.
"Ed Woowdward has really backed the manager and he comes out with a lot of credit during this window because Maguire is the type of player they really needed to shore up the defence," says Sutton.
All three were speaking as Premier Sports announced their broadcasting team for its coverage of the 2019/20 Premier League season.
Premier Sports will broadcast 53 live and exclusive Premier League games with the coverage kicking off on Saturday August 10 from Selhurst Park as Crystal Palace host Everton. Throughout the season, 33 of these games will be broadcast exclusively on Saturday afternoons at 3pm including one match on the final weekend of the season.
Premier Sports will also broadcast every game from the first round of midweek fixtures in December (Matchday 15 on the 3rd & 4th of December) and all 10 matches on St Stephen's Day. Premier Sports has rights to these 20 games, the same package as Amazon Prime in the UK.
And the three wise men are convinced that nobody can come close to emulating Liverpool's breath-taking attempt to end Manchester City's domestic dominance last term – not even Jurgen Klopp's men.
"To take 198 points out of a possible 228 in two seasons is just incredible and I just don't think anybody can catch City, Pep Guardiola just sets the standards so high," says Breen.
"And when you think Spurs lost 13 games and were the third best team last season, it doesn't say much for the chasing pack's chances.
"Spurs fans may have felt it was the start of a new era with the whole new stadium move last spring but I think it might be the end of an era for them if the team starts to break up.
"United will finish fourth because I don't trust Chelsea with a new manager or Arsenal without a new defence."
Premier Sports 1 and 2 are available in HD only in Ireland on Sky (Channel numbers 412 and 429) via the new ‘Sports Extra' pack which also includes BT Sport. Sports Extra is available to new and existing Sky Sports customers for just €10 a month (for the first six months and €20 thereafter) and non-Sky Sports customers can avail of the subscription for €17 a month (for the first six months and €34 thereafter).
Experienced presenter and co-founder of Second Captains Eoin McDevitt will host the in-depth pre-match and post-match discussion with insight and analysis from former Ireland internationals Richard Dunne and Kenny Cunningham.
The coverage will feature the knowledge and expertise of Des Curran, a voice synonymous with 3pm Premier League kick offs in Ireland and will be joined in the commentary box for Crystal Palace and Everton by former Ireland international Gary Breen.
The legendary Clive Tyldesley will also be joining the Premier Sports commentary team throughout the season.
Full 3pm TV picks on Premier Sports through August and September are confirmed as:
10 August | Crystal Palace v Everton
17 August | Southampton v Liverpool
24 August | Man Utd v Crystal Palace
31 August | Chelsea v Sheffield United
14 September | Man Utd v Leicester City
21 September | Man City v Watford
28 September | Spurs v Southampton