Manchester United's struggling defender Harry Maguire has "almost identical" statistics to Liverpool star Virgil van Dijk.
New research compiled by Midnite has compared the defenders from each of the Premier League's top six clubs from the start of their individual Premier League careers. The data from players at Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, United and Tottenham Hotspur showed that Maguire is still one of the best defenders at the league's elite clubs.
The England defender has been under fire lately after falling out of favour at United and struggling in the Three Lions' 3-3 draw with Germany on Monday night. So few fans might expect his statistics to match up favourably with Liverpool's Dutch colossus.
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According to the data, Maguire has made 254 tackles in 206 appearances with a success rate of 67% since making his Premier League debut for Hull City in 2014.
Meanwhile, Van Dijk, who made his competition debut for Southampton in September 2015, has made 206 tackles in 202 appearances with a 69% success rate.
The data also showed Maguire has made 326 interceptions at a rate of 1.58 per game, compared to Van Dijk's 221 interceptions at 1.59 per game.
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As for aerial duels, they are again very similar statistically, with the Dutch defender edging out Maguire by winning 74% compared to his 72%.
Reacting to the findings, a Midnite spokesperson stated: “No-one could have guessed that Harry Maguire has produced identical defensive statistics to Virgil van Dijk, who is regarded as the world’s best defender.”
Maguire's poor club form has seen him lose his place in the United team under Erik ten Hag, with the 29-year-old not starting a league match since the Red Devils' 4-0 loss to Brentford last month. His place in England's World Cup squad also remains in question.
The research also produced a number of other interesting findings, including Arsenal defenders being the worst out of the six clubs analysed.
William Saliba, Ben White, Gabriel and Rob Holding ranked the lowest collectively when it came to both tackle success and aerial battles won.
In contrast, Spurs defender Eric Dier was named amongst the league's best defenders, by making 328 tackles across his 244 Premier League appearances.
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