After what has felt like a drawn-out transfer saga, Harry Maguire has finally joined Manchester United from Leicester City.While Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is far from done yet with his Old Trafford rebuild, his new United is beginning to take shape.With an increased focus on young, hungry talent, players ready to hit the ground running thanks to their familiarity with the requirements of the British game, the Norwegian will be hoping that his team can get off to a better start this season than they managed under Jose Mourinho in 2018-19. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? But what will Maguire bring to the Red Devils having finally become a United player?In the England international, Solskjaer has somebody who has delivered with a decent level of consistency in his Leicester career and has also shown a level of work-rate at his previous club Hull City which has clearly persuaded Mike Phelan – then Tigers number two and latterly manager, now Solskjaer’s right-hand man – to put in a good word for him at United.He could also prove to be very versatile thanks to his role in differing shapes in his career so far.Maguire has been widely identified as not being quick enough to fit in to the kind of high-pressing outfit which the new United look set to become, apparently unable to make up any ground lost to nippy forwards in behind the defensive line.But he has proven his powers of recovery time and again in the shirts of Leicester and England.What speed he gives up in his legs he often accounts for in his head, with his anticipatory defending getting club and country out of many a tight spot. He’s a big, brave leader of a defender too, which is something United have lacked too often in recent years.Just as Aaron Wan-Bissaka is the first natural right-back at the club for a good few years, with the instincts of a defender and the ability to effect a tackle in the heart, the body and the mind rather than in the memory bank, so Maguire is unique in United’s ranks in that he is a fearless centre-back at the top of his game.But for Lindelof, who can’t have been far behind Luke Shaw in the club’s Player of the Year polling last season, United’s centre-back options have all failed them to some extent of late. As such, Lindelof and Maguire should now be considered the primary partnership when Solskjaer looks to line up with his favoured four-man defence to begin the new campaign.The only question mark may be in relation to which right-footer plays on their more natural side, with Maguire having played to the left of Wes Morgan for Leicester and Lindelof having often played in the same channel alongside Chris Smalling for the Reds.Lindelof has said in the past that he is happy to fill in on the left, but Maguire seems to have fitted in on that side more naturally.“For me, it’s not a problem. I’m used to playing on the left side as well but I’ll play wherever the manager wants me to play,” Lindelof told ManUtd.com in October 2018.“I don’t see a problem having two right-footers as central defenders. I have quite a good left foot and can manage to play on the left as well so it’s not a problem.”Another option open to Solskjaer would be to go with three at the back, particularly if he wants to play with an extra edge in attack and allow Paul Pogba more responsibility in midfield. Maguire has played in a back three extensively, both with England and with Hull.At the KCOM Stadium he managed to eventually force his way into a line-up which had seen Steve Bruce abandon his traditional 4-4-2 for a three-man back line with Alex Bruce, James Chester and Curtis Davies having initially filled the roles.And with England the 26-year-old became something of a national hero when playing as part of a trio at the 2018 World Cup finals alongside Kyle Walker and John Stones.That would allow Wan-Bissaka and Shaw greater freedom to get forward as wing-backs for United, supplying width from deep in attack.However Solskjaer chooses to deploy Maguire, he and Wan-Bissaka look likely to make United a far more solid proposition defensively than they have been in quite some time.The manager’s rebuild will likely continue well into the 2020-21 season, with United clearly needing far more than just three or four additions to what was quickly proven to be a squad lacking in quality last term.However, their defence at the very least should be far more reliable and consistent in the forthcoming campaign than it has been under successive managers since 2013. Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by Lauren Krugel, The Canadian Press Posted Feb 20, 2013 7:59 pm MDT ExxonMobil’s $3.1B bid for Celtic Exploration approved by industry minister CALGARY – Celtic Exploration Ltd. (TSX:CLT) said Wednesday it has Ottawa’s approval to be taken over by Houston-based energy heavyweight ExxonMobil Corp. for $3.1 billion.The approval under the Investment Canada Act means that no further regulatory approvals are required. The deal is expected to be completed Feb. 26.The Investment Canada Act is the same legislation under which the Conservative government approved Chinese state-owned CNOOC Ltd.’s $15.1-billion takeover of Nexen Inc. in December.When Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that decision, along with an approval of a $6-billion takeover of Progress Energy Resources by Malaysia’s Petronas, he signalled a change in Ottawa’s foreign investment rules.From now on, control of oilsands companies by foreign state-owned enterprises will only be allowed under “exceptional circumstances.”Critics charge that the rules are still too vague.Imperial Oil Ltd. (TSX:IMO), a Calgary-based company about 70 per cent owned by ExxonMobil, has said it will exercise its option to invest $1.55 billion for a 50 per cent stake in Celtic.Imperial’s involvement takes effect right after the transaction closes.The deal, announced last October, will see Exxon add lucrative natural gas liquids to its portfolio through the control of about 221,000 hectares in the Montney formation in B.C. and Alberta and 42,000 hectares in the emerging Duvernay shale in Alberta.Current production on that land is 72 million cubic feet per day of natural gas and 4,000 barrels per day of condensate and natural gas liquids.The assets were estimated by Celtic as of Dec. 31, 2011, to include 128 million oil equivalent barrels of proved plus probable reserves, of which 24 per cent are condensate and natural gas liquids and 76 per cent natural gas.Separately, Imperial and ExxonMobil have discussed building a liquefied natural gas export facility on Canada’s West Coast to enable the fuel to reach more lucrative Asian markets.ExxonMobil made a big move into natural gas in late 2009 when it announced an eye-popping US$41-billion acquisition of U.S. natural gas giant XTO.
Updated 3.45pmLUIS SUAREZ HAS been banned for a total of 10 matches following his bite on Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic.The Football Association increased Suarez’s suspension by an extra seven games today after a disciplinary hearing upheld the violent conduct charge against the striker.Liverpool immediately disputed the length of the ban but managing director Ian Ayre said that the club would wait before making any further comment or deciding on an appeal.“Both the club and player are shocked and disappointed at the severity of the Independent Regulatory Commission decision,” Ayre said in a brief statement.“We await the written reasons tomorrow before making any further comment.”The ban begins with immediate effect although Suarez has until midday on Friday 26 April to appeal the additional seven-match increase.The Uruguyan accepted the FA’s violent conduct charge but disputed their claim that he deserved a lengthy punishment following his latest controversy during Sunday’s 2-2 Premier League draw at Anfield.Suarez, who snatched a point with an equaliser deep into stoppage time, clashed with Ivanovic in the second half and could be seen to bite the Serbian’s upper arm.YouTube Credit: skynewsHe later apologised to Ivanovic and was fined by Liverpool with the proceeds going to the Hillsborough Family Support Group.But after reviewing video footage of the incident, the FA insisted that a standard three-match ban would not be sufficient for such a severe offence.Barring a reduction on appeal today’s judgement will likely rule Suarez out until September at the earliest, leaving Liverpool to start the new season without their main goal threat.It is not the first time that Suarez has landed himself a long suspension for biting an opponent. In November 2010, shortly before he left Ajax to join Liverpool, he was banned for seven matches for the Dutch FA for biting PSV’s Otman Bakkal.(Peter Byrne/PA Wire/Press Association Images)Last season he was banned for eight games by the FA after he was found guilty of using racist language towards Manchester United defender Patrice Evra.Today’s punishement will turn the spotlight back on Liverpool owners Fenway Sports Group who will be keen to minimise the fallout on the club’s image. Suarez, Ayre and manager Brendan Rodgers all issued statements in the wake of the incident in which they insisted that they will work to address the striker’s clear disciplinary problem.But despite calls for Liverpool to cash in on their controversial star and sell him on the summer, Ayre insisted that Suarez will remain a Liverpool player.Jamie Carragher: Liverpool are right to stand by Luis Suarez