Ole Gunnar Solskjaer surprised at Harry Maguire captain progress after transfer

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has admitted he did not think Harry Maguire would be Manchester United captain so soon after joining the club.

But he has backed the England defender to become of the great United captains in the future.

Maguire only made the move to Old Trafford last summer after the club paid Leicester City£80m for his services.

And it didn’t take him long to be named the full time skipper after replacing Ashley Young.

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Solskjaer claims he had hoped that the 26-year-old would fulfil the role eventually after the club payed a world record fee for a defender.

But the Norwegian says he is now confident that Maguire can emulate some of the United greats in his new role.

“We’ve had different captains down the years, Gary Neville, Roy Keane, Eric Cantona, Ryan Giggs – they’ve all been different personalities,” he said.

“But Harry’s his own man. United is, if not the biggest, one of the two or three biggest clubs in the world and he’s now the frontman for it.

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“Harry is a born leader – definitely. That was what we spoke about in early talks with him as well, that he can take the leadership, he’s the one we wanted for that.

“To be honest I didn’t expect him to be captain this quickly, Since the start, though, he’s been in the dressing room and speaking with the coaches, he’s vocal, he’s got the experience, he’s got everything a captain should have.

“I always thought it’s natural for him to take that role but his performances have helped too. I’m delighted with the boy, that was one of the attributes we were looking at when we signed him.

“As a captain at this club you have to be thick skinned, you can’t sulk or feel sorry for yourself, you have to get on with things and be proactive.

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“He’s got to lead men, we’ve got a few men and some boys as well, but he’s got to go in front as an example for everyone – and he is.

“And when the team is more consistent he'll be an even bigger presence – definitely.”

Maguire has been an almost ever-present for United this season, missing only five games in all competitions.

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“You’ve got to be able to churn out games, play time and time again but he's never once asked for a rest,” he added.

“He plays internationals, he plays for us, midweek and weekend. He’s that type of personality that wants to be out there on the pitch, that’s a leader.

“He even organises paint-balling, bonding dinners, a fining system – he’s taken on everything!”

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