Manchester United unsung hero could prove to be Solskjaer's wildcard goalscorer

Man Utd are looking to add more firepower to their squad this summer but they already have an unlikely goal threat at the club.


A lot of things need to happen if Manchester United are to continue their upward trajectory under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and actually mount a serious Premier League title challenge next season.

New signings will need to bring a lift to the squad in the summer transfer window, key players will need to maintain impressive levels of form throughout a season, Solskjaer will need to tweak his tactical approach — and there will need to be a slice of luck on the injury front.

It might seem like a lot needs to align, but it isn't totally out of the question.

Another key component of a successful title challenge will be retaining a goal threat from all across the pitch, with every player required to chip into the tally, even if a couple of players lead the line with their own incredible goal output.

Quite often it can be a player you least suspect who notches a pivotal goal in a title race; think Federico Macheda versus Aston Villa or Vincent Kompany's sumptuous strike against Leicester.

Next season it could well be United's own captain Harry Maguire who plays a key role in them achieving their ambitions, he certainly poses the threat to do so.

Throughout his time at Old Trafford the 28-year-old has posed a constant threat from set-pieces thanks to his authoritative aerial ability, however he still isn't as clinical as he should be in the air.

Maguire stole the show for England on Tuesday night with a defensive masterclass as his side beat Germany to reach the quarter-finals of the European Championship.

The United captain was named 'Star of the Match' for his performance, yet things might have been even better had he taken advantage of a glorious opportunity in the first-half.

With 26 minutes on the clock, Kalvin Phillips lifted a ball towards the six-yard box that Maguire won unchallenged, but could only cushion back towards goal.

For United fans it is a common sight and despite Maguire's staggering rate of winning 54.3 per cent of his attacking aerial duels last season, the club captain should be scoring more goals from the attacking positions he gets himself in to.

Across the past season Maguire had an expected goals (xG) return of 6.65, though he only managed to score four goals, just two of which came in his 52 appearances for United.

In fact his xG when playing for United was 5.24 last season, indicating he should have three more goals than he actually managed playing for Solskjaer's side.

It was a similar story in his debut season at Old Trafford too with Maguire delivering three goals from an xG of 5.08, meaning he has scored five goals from chances which would typically bring a player ten (xG 10.32).

According to stats from WyScout Harry Maguire has an xG of 10.32 for United over two seasons

One encouraging stat is that last season Maguire won four per cent more aerial duels for United than he had done in his previous season, but the issue still remains that he isn't clinical enough in an attacking sense.

Of course his main job is to defend and as long as he remains a rock in defence few fans will worry, but extracting more goal threat from Maguire next season could well have an impact on United achieving their ambitions.

This pre-season it might be wise for Solskjaer and his coaches to work specifically on attacking set-pieces, with specific work focused on improving the club captain's threat from attacking scenarios.

Not much might have changed had Maguire scored the extra five goals that he might have scored in a United shirt, though it might only take one next season to have a huge say in the title race.

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