Blades boost as Maguire signs new contract

Harry Maguire has signed a deal to stay at the Lane until 2015.
Harry Maguire has signed a deal to stay at the Lane until 2015.

Sheffield United and their fans will hope Harry Maguire’s signing of a new contract will have a very different sequel to the Jordan Slew story.

Striker Slew, Maguire’s fellow Blades Babe, agreed a fresh deal in the summer only to be lured to Premier League Blackburn in a deadline-beating £1m move.

That is bound to provoke a degree of scepticism among supporters. Some may feel Maguire’s signature is mainly designed to protect the club’s valuation of a major asset.

And to be brutally honest, that has to be part of the reason why United have tied up terms with their outstanding young centre half to the summer of 2015.

But there is every indication from the comments of manager Danny Wilson and the player himself that all parties are committed for most, if not all, of the duration.

Unlike Slew perhaps, Maguire appears to be grounded enough to realise that his football development - meteoric to this point - is better served by putting financial considerations to one side at this early stage of his career.

Of course, the contract is no deterrent to bids and may even entice them with Maguire firmly earmarked as a top prospect throughout the football community. Neither does it guarantee that United won’t, at some stage, be presented with such a high offer that it cannot be refused by a League One club with harsh economic issues to be faced.

New chief executive Julian Winter was honest enough to admit on these pages recently that, in order to comply with new rules on wage outlays, more inroads have to be made into the highest salary roll in the third tier.

But players on the fringe are the preferred target area and there is a determination within the club to keep Wilson’s top performers, most certainly including Maguire as evidenced by the contract.

Incredibly, he had played in every minute of every game this season up to last night’s clash at Preston, which took place after the Telegraph went to press.

“Hopefully I can play every minute of this season and help the team win promotion,” he said ahead of the game. “This deal means all I need to think about is my performances. I don’t want anything to change off the field.”

Significantly, Wilson said: “Harry has looked at the prospects for himself and he wanted to stay at Bramall Lane for the foreseeable future.”

All vested interests apart, Wilson clearly feels - as he did with Slew - that Maguire’s future is better served gaining experience of first-team football rather than sitting in a Premiership shadow squad, albeit on bigger money.

“To be playing regularly at such a young age is testimony to him,” added the Blades boss.