Paul Merson rang Harry Maguire to apologise after criticising the Man United defender’s transfer fee
Paul Merson reveals he called Harry Maguire to APOLOGIZE for calling his £80m Man United transfer fee ‘ridiculous’ as he opens up about ‘when I sometimes get it wrong’ as pundit for Sky Sports
- Paul Merson said Man United paid £80m for Harry Maguire back in 2019 was ‘ridiculous’
- He felt that Maguire had only done well for England when he played in a back three
- Merson has now admitted that he went too far with his criticism of Maguire
- He has revealed that he called Maguire to apologize for his comments
- He has also previously been critical of the fees paid for Kevin De Bruyne and Mohamed Salah
- Merson has now admitted that he made mistakes as an expert
- Click here for all the latest World Cup 2022 news and updates
Paul Merson has revealed he phoned Harry Maguire to apologize after calling Manchester United’s decision to pay £80m for him in 2019 ‘ridiculous’.
Maguire starred at the 2018 World Cup for England during their run to the semi-finals and United opted to pay a world record fee for a defender to Leicester to bring him to Old Trafford the following year.
Asked for his opinion on the transfer, Merson said on Sky Sports: ‘Harry Maguire, £80m, is ridiculous. Ridiculous at the highest level.
Manchester United signed Harry Maguire for £80m in 2019 and quickly made him captain
Paul Merson was stunned by the transfer fee, labeling it a ‘ridiculous’ amount
‘He broke it up with England, he played in a three. When you play in a three at the back, you play in a three for one reason only: the defenders are not good enough, you don’t trust them.’
Maguire was handed the captaincy in his first season at United but endured a difficult campaign last term and has been dropped in recent weeks by Erik ten Hag, who has preferred a defensive pairing of Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez.
Despite his lack of playing time at club level, Gareth Southgate has stood by Maguire and selected him for his latest England squad. The 29-year-old looks set to play a key role for his country at the World Cup later this year and Merson has claimed he wants nothing but the best for Maguire, leading to him recalling the center to clear the air after his previous comments about him.
“I don’t want to be right about that [his past criticism of Maguire] – I would rather be wrong, said Merson The telegraph.
Merson has revealed he called Maguire for going ‘a bit too far’ with his criticism of him
‘I want England to win the World Cup and Harry Maguire to score the winning goal. That was just my opinion. I called Brendan Rodgers and said: “Can you get me Harry Maguire’s number?” I didn’t feel comfortable with myself.
“I had to call him and say: “I don’t agree with the £80m but I shouldn’t have said that and I’m sorry.” I went a bit too far.
‘He couldn’t believe it. Probably thought it was a joke. I don’t think he’s had a fair crack. He fights and he plays on the left when he is right-footed.’
Merson has admitted he overstepped the mark with Maguire and it’s not the only time his analysis has come back to haunt him.
The former Arsenal midfielder labeled Manchester City’s decision to pay £55million for Kevin De Bruyne in 2015 as ‘a joke’ and was unimpressed when Liverpool signed Mohamed Salah two years later after the pair both struggled to make the grade in Chelsea.
The duo have gone on to become two of the best players in the Premier League in recent years and Merson has put his hands up to making mistakes like an expert, but he still feels he can stay in the studio most of the time.
Merson criticized Man City for paying £55m for Kevin De Bruyne after he struggled at Chelsea
He was also surprised Liverpool signed Mohamed Salah after he failed to shine at Chelsea, but has now admitted he was wrong about both De Bruyne and Salah
“People still come up to me when I’ve already said 50 times how great Kevin De Bruyne is,” he continued.
‘I only said what I saw. I’m a Chelsea fan. I also saw Mo Salah at Chelsea. They didn’t cut it. They come back and are two of the best players in the world. It’s the right place at the right time.
“I don’t like it when people go down there and say, ‘He’s ignorant, fire him, he’s got no brain’.
– I have a good knowledge of football, although I sometimes make mistakes. Talk to me about politics, I don’t have a clue. I have played football all my life. Under the top managers. I know my football.
‘I want to sit with someone across a table and talk football. I stood confidently on Sky the other day with Gary Neville, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and Roy Keane.
‘The hardest thing is when you have to be critical of one of the best players who ever played football. Ronaldo was a 100 times better player than me and I have to say that Man United will not win anything with him in the team.’