Ex-Manchester United defender Gerard Pique says he hopes the signing of Harry Maguire can help his old side win the Premier League.
Pique came through United’s academy and made 12 senior appearances before moving to Barcelona in 2008, where he has since developed into one of the best defenders in the world.
The 32-year-old is all too aware of the pressure put on players to perform at Old Trafford, but he is confident Maguire has what it takes to be a success, and was not surprised when United decided to splash the cash on the centre-back to make him the most expensive defender in the world.
Speaking to the Daily Express at the PokerStars European Poker Tour in Barcelona, Pique said: “It happened before with Van Dijk and before about ten years ago with Rio Ferdinand.
“Culturally they invest a lot in good defenders and Harry Maguire is a great defender.
“I hope that they can be at the top again. Manchester United in the last few years they have been fighting to qualify for the Champions League but they have to be trying to win the Premier League.
“I hope with this signing they can return to the top.”
Pique recalls his time at United fondly despite struggling for first-team action, and insists his experience in England has helped him become what he is today.
“It was a great time there. I didn’t play as much as I wanted to but I was 17 and very young,” he added.
“It was a very important step in my career for the future. I had an amazing time there with team-mates like Cristiano Ronaldo , Wayne Rooney and Ryan Giggs.
“To have the experience of playing with those experienced players helped me a lot for these years when I played here in Barcelona.”