Bruno Fernandes has been named as Manchester United’s new club captain following the end of Harry Maguire’s three year stint with the armband.
It was not so much of a surprising decision after the England centre-back was reduced to a rotation defender under Ten Hag last term, and the decision of who was to take the armband was no shock either.
A club statement read: “Bruno Fernandes has been named as the new club captain of Manchester United.
“The Portuguese midfielder has already worn the armband for United on numerous occasions and Erik ten Hag has confirmed that he will now lead the team on a permanent basis.
“Fernandes has scored 64 goals and contributed 54 assists in just 185 games for the club since joining in 2020.
“As captain, the two-time Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year will continue to drive the highest standards throughout the squad as United push for success in the 2023/24 season and beyond.”
However, it will not only be the Portuguese midfielder who leads the team. Unlike in prior years, the club now have a solid leadership group at Old Trafford.
It has been detailed that there is now a six-man leadership group that is consulted by Ten Hag – however, does not include ex-captain Maguire, who could be leaving the club this summer.
As explained by Samuel Luckhurst of the Manchester Evening News, figures at United have stressed that a coterie of leaders remain within the squad despite Fernandes being named captain. These include Raphael Varane, Casemiro, Luke Shaw, Marcus Rashford and Tom Heaton.
Varane has wore the armband in both pre-season fixtures so far this summer. Lisandro Martinez is also another player with great leadership qualities, but is also just 25-years-old and moved to the club less than a year ago.
Incoming signing Andre Onana has also showed leadership qualities throughout his career, despite at 27 still being relatively young for a goalkeeper. Mason Mount also became the youngest player to captain Chelsea since John Terry.
When Harry Maguire was appointed captain mid-season in 2019/20 it was after Ashley Young’s departure and the lack of genuine leaders in the group. Now, there is no problem in that department when looking at the squad.
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