Manchester United have reportedly accepted West Ham’s £30million bid for Harry Maguire. The move may well be for the best for the 30-year-old England international, given the battering his reputation has taken in recent years.
Fans, pundits, commentators, fellow pros and even politicians have given Maguire both barrels with merciless trolling, following the drop in form he suffered at Old Trafford.
Having been pushed to the periphery last season by Erik ten Hag, the writing was probably on the wall for Maguire’s future at Manchester United after the decision was made to strip him of the captaincy.
It’s all too easy to forget that Maguire was exceptional at Leicester, was once the world’s most expensive defender and enjoyed a very solid start at United. He’s also rarely put a foot wrong for England – and you can definitely see him rebuilding his career with David Moyes’ Hammers.
“What people are doing to him, it is a disaster,” former United midfielder Matic told The Times last season.
“Everything has to have limits and some of these people writing on social media, they don’t have their own lives, so they just have to write bad things about someone else.”
Fortunately, the criticism doesn’t appear to have affected Maguire.
“On my form, I don’t know what has been said, I don’t really read about it,” Maguire told talkSPORT in September.
“I am working hard on the training pitch to make sure I am ready for when my opportunity comes. That is all what I can do to try and help the team.
“I am not concentrating on anybody else and what people are saying, I think if people can make a story about me, I am Manchester United captain, it is going to make big news.”
We’re glad he’s not taking notice. Here are seven examples of Maguire getting brutally trolled.
Slightly unnecessary from BeIn Sports’ Arabic commentator after Dayot Upamecano’s night to forget against Manchester City last season.
No way the commentator called Upamecano "UpaMaguire" 😭 pic.twitter.com/r4KM9m1hq4
— Bayern & Football 🏆 (@MunichFanpage) April 19, 2023
Perhaps the most bizarre example of Maguire being trolled came in December 2021 when Ghanaian politician Isaac Adongo used him as a punchline, comparing the African nation’s economic policies to the Manchester United captain’s performances.
“But there is a player like you in the United Kingdom in England called Maguire that is playing for Manchester United,” Adongo said.
“Harry Maguire. He is a defender. He is a tackler and throwing his body everywhere like he was the best defender in the world.
“Manchester United went and bought him. He became the biggest trend at the centre of Manchester United’s defence and began to give assists to opponents.”
“In this country we have an economic Maguire. The same economic Maguire was giving lectures at university on how to restore the value of the city.
“Mr Speaker why did we give this Maguire the chance to be at the centre of our defence. He became the rest of our own goal.
“Our economic Maguire is taking control of the fundamentals of our economy and destroying all of them.”
Why’s Harry Maguire being discussed at the parliament in Ghana 😭😭pic.twitter.com/zytwEmbr6J
— jαck. (@UtdOptimist) December 1, 2022
Ahead of Iran’s group stage clash with England at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, fans brought along banners that read ‘It’s not coming home because of Harry Maguire’ and ‘Harry Maguire your defence is terrifying’.
They’re not quite the wittiest banners we’ve ever seen, and Maguire got the last laugh as England ran out 6-2 winners.
Iran fans to Harry Maguire 👇 pic.twitter.com/NGjPEGWN7E
— Jackson chelsea 💙 (@JacksonChelse17) November 21, 2022
Perhaps Maguire’s biggest critic is one of his predecessors as Manchester United captain.
Keane has gone in two-footed on the defender on a number of occasions, most notably after Maguire cupped his ears to celebrate after scoring for England against Albania in 2021.
“I think he puts his hands to his ears like he’s shut the critics up, but I think that’s embarrassing,” Keane told ITV.
“He’s been a disgrace the last few months for Manchester United. If he thinks [when] he scores he’s going to shut his critics up… embarrassing.”
No moment will top Keane’s impression of his post-match interviews, though.
Roy Keane's impression of Harry Maguire 😂 pic.twitter.com/5rQ7tM0DZX
— Soccer AM (@SoccerAM) October 30, 2021
As with Liverpool’s early ‘LOL!‘ tweet from way back in 2009, you never quite know how your social media use may come back, repurposed out of context, to bite you on the arse.
Maguire fell victim to that after tweeting about Salah following the Liverpool forward’s goal against Roma in the Champions League semi-finals in 2018.
The tweet ended up doing the rounds once again after Salah inspired Jurgen Klopp’s Reds to two thrashings – 5-0 at Old Trafford, 4-0 at Anfield – over Maguire’s United last season. At least the centre-back avoided any blame as an unused substitute when Liverpool ran rampant with a 7-0 drubbing back in March.
— Harry Maguire (@HarryMaguire93) April 24, 2018
By now you’re probably used to the site of footballers arriving at stadiums carrying perplexingly expensive Gucci washbags. Maguire wasn’t messing about with anything flashy for his first England call-up in 2017, having turned up to St. George’s Park with his boots in a black binliner.
“I’d come from Leicester, where the limelight wasn’t as big,” Maguire recalled in an interview with FourFourTwo.
“I wasn’t used to what I know now – that when you play for Manchester United and England, you are analysed every time you do something.
“I got called up for England and asked Jamie Vardy what you were supposed to turn up in. He told me to take my boots in a black bin bag, so I did. I still don’t know if he was having me on. It was a good one if he was…”
He was definitely having you on.
— England (@England) August 27, 2017
Think back to the heady days of 2018, when Maguire was still something of a much-loved national treasure thanks to his performances in England’s run to the World Cup semi-finals in Russia.
This was long before the move to Manchester United and all the added scrutiny his £78million transfer fee brought. Leaning over and having a casual chat with his partner Fern Hawkins became the meme of the Russia World Cup and only added to Maguire’s loveable everyman reputation.
Fellow Sheffield lad Kyle Walker added his own caption, which lands squarely in the category of lukewarm footballer banter on social media. All it was missing was a few cry-laughing emojis.
Walker then repurposed the meme during the 2018-19 title race between Liverpool and Man City. He tweeted it (and promptly deleted it) after Liverpool dropped two points at home to Maguire’s Leicester City – a 1-1 draw that proved costly as they eventually finished runners-up with 97 points, one behind City.
"I mean yeah you can take me out for my birthday, sure. I'm not free weekends though. Dunno if you know but I'm a pretty big deal. Know what I mean love?" pic.twitter.com/UP4mtD3eyj
— Kyle Walker (@kylewalker2) March 5, 2019