Man United defender Harry Maguire backed to replicate Virgil van Dijk impact at Liverpool

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Leicester defender Jonny Evans has backed Harry Maguire to be a Manchester United hit and believes he can have a similar impact to Virgil van Dijk at Liverpool.

England international Maguire joined United from Leicester for £80 million last week, a world record for a defender.

Van Dijk helped Liverpool win the Champions League and finish second in the Premier League last season after his £75m move from Southampton in January 2018.

United kept their first clean sheet since February in Maguire’s debut on Sunday, a 4-0 win over Chelsea, and Evans – who won three titles at Old Trafford – tipped him for success.

“You can see comparisons in their games (Maguire and Van Dijk), both are great on the ball, and Harry has got explosive pace people don’t see,” he said.

“He is powerful, good in the air…Everyone will compare the transfer fees but it’s so difficult to judge transfer fees nowadays.

“We are all human and it is weird we get traded for money. In the transfer market it’s all supply and demand and things can go up and down at any moment.

“The most important thing is for him to be judged on how he plays. I don’t have any worries about him there.

“He is tailor-made for Man United, it was a great move for him. He’s a player they needed.

“He’s got a really likeable nature about him. He will be a real hit there, he is a fantastic player.”

Evans also insisted VAR will be a success after it disallowed Leander Dendoncker’s second-half strike in Sunday’s 0-0 draw with Wolves.

The midfielder’s initial header hit team-mate Willy Boly on the arm before he fired in. It took 98 seconds to disallow the goal but Evans believes VAR will work.

“They came up with the right decision, we’ve been told VAR won’t step in unless it’s a clear decision the referee has missed so for them to overrule the referee it must be the right call,” he said.

“A few of the Wolves players were still trying to debate the decision afterwards and you’re saying ‘we’ve got VAR, that’s what it’s for.’ It made the right decision and done its job.”

Wolves are now preparing for Thursday’s Europa League third qualifying round second leg with FC Pyunik after their 4-0 win in Armenia last week.

“It is fantastic and brilliant. For us as a football club, the games we have coming up is incredible,” said captain Conor Coady.

“We have Europe on Thursday and Manchester United on Monday.

“What more do you want for a football club? We are excited for it and will make sure we are ready for it.”

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Salford part-owners Paul Scholes and Phil Neville dreaming of Premier League

Matt Jones 12/08/2019
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Brothers Phil and Gary Neville are co-owners of Salford.

Salford part-owners Paul Scholes and Phil Neville hope Tuesday night’s home Carabao Cup clash with Leeds provides a taste of what lies ahead for the club.

The Ammies are gearing up for one of the biggest games in the club’s history and former Manchester United stars Scholes and Neville are relishing the first-round tie.

England Women coach Neville told PA: “It is a big game. It’s probably the biggest team we’ve ever had, played against or had to the Peninsula Stadium.

“It’s the type of night we want, it’s the type of team we want to be playing against.”

Salford are co-owned by businessman Peter Lim, who has a 40 per cent stake, plus Phil and Gary Neville, Scholes, David Beckham, Ryan Giggs and Nicky Butt, who have 10 per cent each.

They won promotion to the English Football League for the first time last season after beating Fylde 3-0 in the National League play-off final at Wembley.

Scholes has grand hopes for Salford to one day get into the Premier League.

Scholes has grand hopes for Salford to one day get into the Premier League.

Since the ‘Class of 92’ bought shares in 2014, Salford have won promotion four times, and Scholes has lofty ambitions for the club.

“Where do we go the next five or 10 years? Who knows?” Scholes told PA. “I know it’s a long way off, but the target has to be getting to the Premier League at some point.

“We want the big games like Leeds. I don’t think in the whole draw we could have got a bigger or better club, so we’re looking forward to it.”

Scholes and Neville were speaking as TalkTalk and Salford celebrated a new five-year partnership, with fellow part-owners Giggs and Gary Neville also in attendance.

Eight other League Two clubs are bidding to upset Championship opposition on Tuesday.

Scunthorpe and Bradford have home advantage against Derby and Preston respectively, while Scholes’ former club Oldham travel to local rivals Blackburn and Carlisle play at Barnsley.

Cambridge travel to Brentford, Forest Green take on Charlton, Crewe play at Middlesbrough and Northampton are at Swansea.

AFC Wimbledon’s home clash with MK Dons is another stand out fixture, while Huddersfield and Hull face tricky ties against newly-promoted League One sides Lincoln and Tranmere respectively.

All-Championship ties include QPR v Bristol City, West Brom v Millwall and Wigan v Stoke.

Burton, who caused a string of upsets in last season’s competition before losing 10-0 on aggregate to eventual winners Manchester City in the semi-finals, travel to Port Vale.

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Dream comes true for Daniel James as he scores on Man United debut

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Daniel James could not have scripted a better beginning to life as a Manchester United player after coming off the bench to complete the mauling of Chelsea.

A cloud of discontent and disillusionment made way for delight at Old Trafford as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side got the Premier League campaign off to a dream start on Sunday.

Chelsea were unfortunate not to cancel out Marcus Rashford’s penalty, but Frank Lampard’s first match at the helm would end in a 4-0 defeat after a second-half collapse.

Anthony Martial and Rashford netted in quick succession, before summer signing James came off the bench to score in the 81st minute of a dream debut.

“I don’t think you could write it, really,” the former Swansea flyer said.

“As soon as I signed here, I dreamed of something like that to happen and it did today.

“To score on my debut and to win 4-0 at Old Trafford in the first game, no, I don’t think you could (imagine that).”

James was Solskjaer’s first signing as United manager and eyebrows were raised at his place on the bench rather than the starting line-up given his fine pre-season performances.

The Wales winger would eventually be introduced as a 74th-minute substitute and wasted little time making an impression on the Old Trafford faithful.

“I think it was about being calm,” he said of his competitive debut for United.

“I came on at 3-0, which obviously dampened (the nerves) a bit.

“For me, it was just going out there and enjoying it, and obviously if I get an opportunity try and take them, and thankfully I did.”

James will never forget his United bow, but the level-headed Welshman is not getting carried away with the curtain-raising triumph as Solskjaer’s side rode their luck at times against Chelsea.

“Obviously we won 4-0 today but there’s obviously stuff we can work on and it’s going to be a tough game next week at Wolves,” he said.

“I think everyone was raring to go anyway, but we can’t get carried away.

“We’ve got a big, big test at Wolves next week and obviously they’ve shown how good they were, especially against us last season, so we’ve got to be prepared for that.”

James highlighted the high press and ball recovery as particular positives after the match, although a first Premier League clean sheet since February was also noteworthy.

Summer signing Aaron Wan-Bissaka impressed at right-back for and Harry Maguire looked solid just days after arriving in a world-record transfer fee for a defender.

“I think that we’ve shown that all through pre-season,” James said of the defensive solidity. “We haven’t conceded many.

“Obviously that’s a big part of going forwards, keeping them clean sheets, and we did that today.”

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