There are increasing calls for Bruno Fernandez to be stripped of the manchester United captaincy but were he to lose the armband who should take his place?
man utd legend Roy Keane again repeated his assertion after the 3-0 defeat to Man City on Sunday that Bruno should not be Man Utd captain.
Keane said that while Bruno is a top player, he does not behave and lead like a captain – citing the whinging, moaning and negative body language of the Portuguese player.
Bruno was only given the captaincy earlier this year when Erik ten Hag stripped Harry Maguire of the honour.
So if Bruno was also to lose the captaincy, who are the options?
There appears to only be six realistic candidates right now.
The two obvious options are Casemiro and Raphael Varane. Both players, at 30 and 31 respectively, have the age and experience. They also have played for over a decade at the top of the game, winning every major club honour going. The biggest question marks against them is that both appear to be in decline, especially physically.
The third best candidate is Luke Shaw. The 28-year-old has been at Man Utd for almost a decade and is one of the few consistent stars in the team. The only issue with Shaw is he is currently injured and so this isn’t a change that can be made imminently.
A fourth candidate is Lisandro Martinez. He is a favourite of Ten Hag from their time together at Ajax. He is a warrior and a leader but can be overly aggressive and impulsive.
A younger candidate is Marcus Rashford. Having just turned 26, he is someone who could have the armband for the next half-decade or more. He has shown off the pitch with his charity work that he is someone who can be looked up to. However, Rashford is enduring a very difficult season after a brilliant 2022-23 campaign.
A final candidate and an outside one is returning the captaincy to Maguire. This is unlikely and would represent a big embarrassment to Ten Hag. Maguire also needs to play a run of games as a first-teamer before we can say once again that he is a regular starter who can also lead as captain.
What did Keane say about Man Utd captaincy?
“Today having watched him again I would take the captaincy off him 100 per cent,” Keane said on Sunday on Sky Sports after Man Utd’s 3-0 defeat in the derby.
“I know it’s a big decision, obviously they changed the captaincy with Maguire, but Fernandes is not captain material.
“He is a talented player no doubt about it. But what I saw today – we’ve discussed many times before, it was last season at Liverpool – his whinging, his moaning and throwing his arms up in the air constantly.
“It really isn’t acceptable. From what we saw today, I’m thinking I would take that off him.
“You have to start somewhere. We were talking about where do you start [fixing the problems] – the manager, board level. I would start with that because the manager is capable of doing that.
“Fernandes is a brilliant footballer but in terms of captain material he is the opposite to what I would want in a captain.”