Ex-teammate suggests Harry Maguire got his knowledge of the game from watching... Sheffield Wednesday

Hull City's Harry Maguire heads at goal

The Hull City defender came through the ranks at Sheffield United despite being a fan of their fierce rivals Sheffield Wednesday.

Hull City's Harry Maguire heads at goalHull City's Harry Maguire heads at goal

Former Sheffield United defender Neil Collins has told the Star he is not surprised at Harry Maguire's rise to prominence.

Maguire, who played alongside Collins after coming through the ranks at Bramall Lane, has seized his chance at current club Hull City this season, impressing in the Tigers' ongoing battle against the drop.

The 23-year-old is said to have received interest from both Everton and Southampton in January, while the Star reports England boss Gareth Southgate is keeping an eye on his progress.

And Collins, who left the Blades to join Tampa Bay Rowdies last year, has explained how rivals Sheffield Wednesday are, in part, responsible for Maguire's success.

"Harry has fantastic knowledge of the game which comes from years of watching, even if it was Wednesday [the club Maguire grew up supporting]," said the 33-year-old. "Strength only gets you so far - and he is the strongest player I have ever seen - so his reading of the game, too, makes him a formidable defender.

Preston's Iain Hume (C) clashes with Sheffield United's Neil Collins (R)Sheffield United's Neil Collins (right)

"I remember well the day he bullied Christian Benteke at Villa Park when we won there in the FA Cup. He’s also tremendously composed, too, and has a great right foot. His marauding runs from the back have improved year on year, and it’s a combination of his ability on the ball, his speed and his strength.

"But for me, his ability and willingless to learn is his biggest attribute. When he came into the United team at 18, he was awesome but still had to learn aspects of defending in the professional game. “But he soaked up information and was very inquisitive on how to deal with certain problems he faced.

"He’s a fantastic role model for any young player coming through."

Wednesday's heyday ceased shortly after Maguire's birth in March 1993, leading to 20-or-so turbulent years which finally look to be over.

And one can't help but wonder just how good he could have been had he grown up watching the likes of Des Walker and Nigel Pearson, rather than Ashley Westwood and Danny Maddix.

Sheffield Wednesday's Des Walker in action (right)Sheffield Wednesday's Des Walker in action (right)

How far can the Hull City defender go in the game?


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