Maguire shines in Russia – This Harry is setting new standards
In a week which could see a man called Jacob become Prime Minister, it is a man who shares that Christian name who has the nation's hearts.
Take a poll among English football fans right now and they would probably pick Jacob Harry Maguire to lead the nation.
The defender, most commonly known by his middle name, helped fire Gareth Southgate’s men into the World Cup semi-finals by heading home against Sweden at the weekend and only Croatia now stand between England and an unexpected appearance in the final.
A player who just three years ago was on loan at Championship club Wigan after failing to win a place in a Hull side destined for relegation from the Premier League, has been one of the stars of the tournament.
Such have been his performance levels that his current club, Leicester City, will surely be bracing themselves for transfer bids from both the Premier League’s bigger fish and clubs from abroad.
Maguire, now 25, has already contributed both a goal and an assist (against Tunisia) in Russia, but it has been his ability to defend and play the ball out from the back which have really impressed – and led to comparisons with the great Bobby Moore, leader of England‘s only World Cup-winning team.
There were no heatmaps in 1966 but had there been, the pair’s could easily be mistaken for one another, while Maguire’s distribution also bears a strong resemblance to the late, great defender.
The song of the moment speaks of ‘that tackle by Moore’ – a textbook challenge on Brazil’s Jairzinho in the 1970 finals. The way things are going, maybe a similar iconic moment lies ahead for the Yorkshire-born star on Wednesday night.
How has Harry Maguire effected Englands chances
Harry Maguire to score in 90 minutes – 16/1
Harry Maguire to score first – 25/1
Maguire man of the match – 50/1