Martin Keown boldly praises reported Everton, Southampton target Harry Maguire

Martin Keown

Hull City's man mountain was superb against Chelsea and it's no surprise Everton and Southampton are reportedly interested.

On the face of it, you’d wonder why any team would want to purchase a defender from Hull City. Conceding 47 goals in 22 matches, only Swansea City have been breached more times than the often toothless Tigers.

However, that has not discouraged Everton and Southampton from expressing an interest in mountainous centre-back Harry Maguire, The Sun reports.

They add that the former Sheffield United prodigy, who has just 18 months left on his current deal, will reject any offer of a new contract. Therefore, a Hull side desperate for funds may be forced to sell sooner rather than later.

Hull City's Harry Maguire heads at goal

And while his performances been rather mixed this season, his outstanding 90 minutes at Stamford Bridge last week had Martin Keown purring and, if you believe the reports, Everton and Southampton sitting on the edge of their sofas.

“It’s as good a central defensive performance as I’ve seen,” Keown, who wasn’t a bad defender in his day, said on Match of the Day 2, broadcast on BBC One at 22:30, Sunday 22nd January.

“It’s unusual to see a centre-half try and take on the opposition but he’s got that in his locker and we know he can tackle. He’s quick, he’s strong and honestly I’ve not seen a centre-half play this well.

“Diego Costa knew he was in a game today.”

Chelsea's Diego Costa in action with Hull City's Harry Maguire

Though Hull only had a 2-0 defeat to show for their efforts, the 23-year-old continuously shrugged off Costa, blending powerful, decisive defending with composure in possession and the odd long-range attempt. A driven rasper certainly had Thibaut Courtois stretching in the first-half.

The Sun add that Maguire would command a fee of just £7 million. Everton, looking for a long-term replacement for Phil Jagielka, could be convinced that he offers far greater value for money than the overpriced Michael Keane or Ben Gibson.

Southampton, meanwhile, are the masters of picking up bargains. They might need to again with Jose Fonte gone and Virgil Van Dijk highly rated by some of Europe's biggest teams.

Register for EVERTON team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch