David Moyes claims he spotted Harry Maguire’s potential while he was in charge at Manchester United.
Maguire became the world’s most expensive defender when he joined United from Leicester earlier this month for £85million before making an assured debut against Chelsea on Sunday.
It has been a long road to the top for Maguire, who started at Sheffield United before joining Hull on the way to Leicester.
Moyes says he identified Maguire’s ability while he was in charge at United after replacing Sir Alex Ferguson six years ago.
Moyes told talkSPORT: “We didn’t try to sign him but we flagged him up at that time.
“I was very aware of the players in the lower leagues and had a made good career out of bringing them to Everton – whether that be Tim Cahill or all the ones we did through the years.
“Harry Maguire was another one I recognised. He played against Preston North End at home in a league game and I watched him and thought he played really well but at that time he was really big – he had a big arse. You thought: ‘My goodness, how big is Harry going to be’ because he was a relatively young boy at that time.
“To be fair he looks in terrific shape and he hasn’t changed at all really. When I went to United, we had Nemanja Vidic, Rio Ferdinand, Jonny Evans, Michael Keane, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling so for us to go and buy another young centre-half wasn’t the biggest thing we needed at the time.
“And Harry Maguire has had to go on his journey. Sometimes the players need the journey to get to where they have to go. He might have struggled then.”