Gerard Pique was not surprised Manchester United spent £80m on Harry Maguire (Picture: Getty)

Barcelona icon Gerard Pique is hopeful that ‘great defender’ Harry Maguire can help Manchester United ‘return to the top’ of the Premier League once again.

Maguire, 26, became the most expensive defender of all time when he completed an £80million move from Leicester City to United earlier this month, eclipsing the £75m Liverpool spent on Virgil van Dijk in January 2018.

The England international was named man of the match on his debut as United recorded their first clean sheet since February in a thumping 4-0 victory over Chelsea at Old Trafford.

However, the Red Devils shipped three goals in their next two Premier League games as they drew 1-1 away at Wolves and suffered a 2-1 defeat at home to Crystal Palace.

Despite their recent struggles, former United centre-back Pique appears confident that Maguire has the ability to lead the club back to their former glory.

On United breaking the world record to sign Maguire, Pique told Express Sport: ‘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 thinks Maguire is a ‘great defender’ (Picture: Getty)

Lee Grant and Diogo have both been impressed with Harry Maguire’s ‘seamless’ transition into United’s first-team following his big-money switch.

‘It’s been seamless,’ United goalkeeper Grant told the club’s official website.

‘Harry has definitely slotted straight in, in terms of the social side and in terms of his mentality and attitude, which has been first class.

‘The most important thing, though, is his quality and he was able to show that against Chelsea.

‘We could all see he is quite at home in front of the Old Trafford crowd and quite at home as a Manchester United player.’

‘He’s so calm,’ Dalot said.

‘He’s settled in perfectly. He’s a very nice guy, very humble, very quick to settle.

‘We’ll keep helping him, but I think he’s already shown everyone on the pitch that he’s ready for this club.’

Maguire is expected to continue alongside Victor Lindelof in central defence when United face Southampton at St Mary’s on Saturday.

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