FORMER Chelsea defender Mario Melchiot believes Harry Maguire has brought Van Dijk-level calmness to Old Trafford following his record £80million transfer.
Melchiot made the comments after Maguire turned in a man-of-the-match performance on his Manchester United debut.
The England international helped the Red Devils keep a clean sheet as they thrashed Frank Lampard’s Chelsea 4-0 on Sunday.
Maguire starred alongside fellow new boys Aaron Wan-Bissaka and goalscorer Daniel James.
Marcus Rashford, who netted a brace, Anthony Martial and Paul Pogba also put in good performances for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side.
Maguire’s Old Trafford debut was excellent and Melchiot thinks the 26-year-old will go from strength to strength at United.
“Maguire brings that calmness Man United were looking for, he definitely brought it in this game,” Melchiot told talkSPORT.
“It’s the same when we were talking about Van Dijk – Liverpool were all over the place, but when he came he brought calmness.
“If Maguire can bring that to Man United…
“He has that aura around him that brings calmness, a bit like what Rio Ferdinand had when he came to Old Trafford.
“Players with that ability and quality, they have to bring calmness, and if Maguire can hold onto that everybody at Manchester United will benefit from it.”
Melchiot is not the only pundit to compare Maguire to Van Dijk with ex-Liverpool captain Graeme Souness doing the same on Sky Sports.
“He’s the real deal for me,” Souness said of Maguire, “His character, the qualities he has, his reading of the game.
“When you think the way the game’s evolved, it’s never been more important than it is today for a centre-half to be able to see the picture and to be able to deliver what he sees.
“The way the game’s evolved everyone’s playing out from the back now. That’s where the game generally starts, nine times out of 10, goalkeepers rarely kick it long.
“So your centre-back in the middle of the pitch is generally what your central midfield player used to be. So I think in that respect he will make a big difference to United. He will have a calming effect on the rest of the team.
“I would expect him to have the influence that Van Dijk has had at Liverpool. I think he is sensational, I think he is everything you want in a centre-half today.”