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Manchester United defender Harry Maguire 'wanted to be a midfielder'

Harry Maguire 'wanted to be a midfielder'
© Reuters
Former Sheffield United academy manager John Pemberton says that Harry Maguire wanted to be a midfielder before he was converted into his current defensive role.

Former Sheffield United academy manager John Pemberton has said that Manchester United defender Harry Maguire wanted to be a midfielder before he was converted into his current role.

Pemberton was responsible for developing Maguire during his time with the Blades before he left for Hull City in 2014.

Speaking to The Athletic, the former academy boss at Bramall Lane said that he convinced the England centre-back to change into a more defensive role after telling him that he was not good enough to play in midfield.

Pemberton said: "Harry was playing centre midfield when I first met him. The problem for me was I just didn't see his future there. He was a centre-half to me.

"I remember sitting him down in my office. We had quite a few chats over the years, mainly because he liked asking questions about the game. Anyway, this time I ended up asking him, 'Where do you see yourself in three years' time?' He said the first team but I pushed him on a position. He thought centre midfield but I said, 'No'.

"Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard were the elite midfielders in the Premier League at the time and I told Harry he would never be as good at that position as them."

Maguire has made 15 appearances for United since his £80m summer move from Leicester City.

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Harry Maguire in action for Manchester United on September 30, 2019
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